Transfer Transition: We’re here to Help

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It’s the first day and the professor asks your class to introduce themselves. As everyone goes around the room, you start to notice that one-third of the students are transfers: some from C.W Post, LIU, Stony Brook, Molloy and others from out of state colleges. If this sounds familiar it’s due to an upsurge in the number of transfer students. In recent years, they have become a large part of the NYIT population.

This year 32% of the undergraduate class is transfers. Yes, many students are transferring, but why?  You should be able to just stay at one college and graduate unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone. In an interview for the Slate, Alexander Ott, the Associate Dean for Academic Support and Enrollment Services says, “In general, the transfer population has been increasing. One factor is college cost increases at a four year level particularly… it’s a financial factor.” “The other variable is that people are more likely to move around than they used to be. They are more mobile; they are more willing to move to a different part of the country and that helps encourage transfers.” Most of the time it’s money, sometimes it’s the travel; some people prefer a college that’s close to home so they commute. Students are looking for specific programs that a college provides. There are multiple reasons why students transfer; at the end of the day they have to be conscience and smart in making these decisions on the colleges they go to. They have to decide what college will lead them to a career-oriented education then apply.

The transfer process is not difficult, Ryan Szachacz, the Associate Director of Transfer Admissions and Evaluations explains, “They would go through the application process, complete the application, submit all their college transcripts, any letters of recommendation and essay. We run a cumulative GPA. We review for admission and scholarship automatically and then we have a credit evaluation department which does a major specific course by course evaluation.” He also says, “As long as they will have completed 24 credits by the time they enroll at NYIT we consider them transfer students.”

In the past, transfer students were neglected due to the primary focus on freshmen. “They start at different times in the fall and spring,” replied Dean Ott. “You have some who come from a community college that have done 12 credits, some have done 30 credits and some have gone to a four year school.” What could the school do to make transfers not feel left out?  Szachacz elaborates, “Three years ago we started a Transfer Transition. It’s kind of our take on an orientation, so instead of going through the whole process of welcome to college. We made it more this is what to expect at NYIT. Where to go when you need academic tutoring, where to go when you need internships or job placements and where to go when you need help with transfer credits or help with advising.” He concludes, “We have separated transfer students out of that main group of orientation experience and give them a specific welcome to NYIT and this is how you succeed.”

Two transfer students share their experiences. Noelle Washington, a nursing major, attended Stony Brook where she received a Bachelor’s of Science degree. “NYIT was the perfect combination of positive recognition and convenience. I love the diversity of this campus it is a perfect blend of various cultural groups. The school has provided me a transfer scholarship, NYIT grant, advisement into the school and assisting me in the application process for the nursing program.” Erick Satchell II, majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentration in business, fine arts and communication arts went to Montgomery College. He transferred to NYIT because he was offered a basketball scholarship. “I already knew people on the team, so I would fit in well. It’s a decent size school, but not too big so it should be easy to make new friends here. Everybody is willing to help out as long as you let people know you need the help.” Noelle would like to see more resources for 2nd degree students and adult learners that might have unique situations like child care (the Student Solution Center might be a good resource) and Erick would like the school to have an event for transfer students and receive prizes.

NYIT has expanded their campuses, programs and their student population representing the nation and the world. For freshmen it’s a new beginning, but for transfers it’s an introduction to the next chapter of a promising future. Take Erick Satchell II’s advice, “make the most fun out of this school as you can”. Just remember to get that degree.

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