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Everyone Benefits When You Maximize Transfer Credits!! How Admissions, Registrar and Financial Services can work together to give transfer students the best possible start. Who do we think we are? n Jill Wheeland MTh – Oxford University. Associate Admissions Director n Jamila Yousif All but Thesis for MA in Global History – Iona College. Assistant Registrar Nyack College n Small Private Christian College n 15 miles north of Manhattan n Tuition Driven n Residential Campus in Rockland County n Commuter Campus in Manhattan n One of the most culturally diverse colleges in the world – 40% African American/Caribbean, 40% Latino, 30% Caucasian, and 10% Asian or other. Session Goal 1 n How to foster essential interdepartmental collaboration and the ways in which it benefits EVERYONE! Marvin Gardens (Fake Name, you’re welcome FERPA!!) Marvin n Why is he transferring? n What was his major at previous school? n What is his desired major here at Nyack? After the application… n Marvin is coming for a visit n Jill Calls Jamila n Jamila looks at the transcript GLADLY!! n Her gladness is KEY!! n Let us tell you why!! Ten years ago everything changed n Ten years ago we didn’t all like each other…. n Game ON!! Strangers became friends n Friendships were fostered and intentional n Suddenly the things we did at work were being done for a FRIEND!! n This can change everything and ultimately greatly benefit YOUR STUDENTS!! This can change everything! n Because relationships were fostered and encouraged we found that the way in which we interacted with student changed! n We were working together for a common goal with people who we WANTED TO WORK WITH! n Team work at it’s best! n It creates a culture of service for our students and we find this manifesting often with our transfers!! Back to Marvin!! n Jamila did the initial evaluation and got our hero Marvin to 28 credits, 2 credits shy of Sophomore status. n WHAT DOES SHE DO NEXT??!! n Jamila contacts the Dean of the School of Education to petition for 2 more credits to satisfy a Freshman Sem for Ed majors. The Dean looks over his transfer credits and finds two credits that could work!! n MARVIN IS NOW A SOPHOMORE!!!! This means a change in his loans, grants, scholarships and ultimately, can help him get out faster! (Not to mention he can now have his car on campus!! ) n Marvin was thrilled and deeply grateful! n Registrar has successfully found maximum credits to be applied n Fin Aid is now working with a grateful incoming student with access to federal aid n Admission is now communicating with a well served student, influencing his decision in enrolling Summation n Serving student can be done without having interdepartmental relationships, but we have found that the environment of our institution has changed as a result of working with a friend! n Fostering intentional interdepartmental relationships can ultimately result in serving students more effectively which can effect EVERYONE! -The student is happier with the service they get and this can possibly impact their decision to stay thus impacting retention rates. -Staff and Faculty find themselves working in an environment they enjoy more What’s your story? n Talk amongst yourselves! n What are interdepartmental relationships like at your school? Do you think you can foster better ones? Session Goal 2 n Learn ways to audit and revise institutional policy for a more equitable transfer experience Let’s meet Sunshine Sara Sunshine’s Story n Sunshine had 88 transferable credit in Early Childhood Education. n With our old transfer policy Sunshine would have only gotten 72 credits requiring her to stay an extra semester n Sunshine and others like her were becoming the norm and we realized there needed to be an overhaul in our transfer credit policies in order to better serve our students!! Where we were before the change n Nyack is a faith based liberal arts college n We have a mandatory minor in Bible and Christian ministries incorporated into almost every degree. n Our transfer policy before was very specific with exact class for class acceptance of credits. n The only lenience was found in what we call the “45 credit rule.” If a student had more than 39 credits transferable and they hadn’t used them all we would grant 6 credits towards the Bible and Christian ministries minor. n But with the restrictions we had, that was a far as we could go What we did to bring about a change in policy n We first looked at the curriculum of other NY state accredited institutions. n We noticed that we had specific core classes where they had core electives (ie- We had World Civ I & II only and they had a World History elective, we had a specific American Diversity course only, and they had a sociology elective or American history class) n We decided the we could serve our students better by adopting similar practices!! Who was involved? n The effort was a collaboration between: - Undergraduate Registrar - VP for Enrollment Services - Provost - Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences n The Provost also asked for “buy in” from the heads of all the respective departments n The summer we implemented this change we reevaluated all the incoming transfer students and gave an extra 6 credits on average!!! n More students decided to come as a result of the new policy and again we saw the benefits of good interdepartmental relationships working for the common goal of serving our students! Sunshine’s Benefits with the new policy!! n Sunshine is an excellent example of how this new policy helped to serve our students. Instead of the original number of 72 we were able to bring in all 88 of her transferable credits!!! n This means that were able to bring her and get her out in two semesters instead of three. n THAT’S AWESOME!! More policy changes!! n Along with this change, we recently changed our database system. n As a result of this change we were given the opportunity to collectively discuss our processes with regards to bringing in students. Changes are GOOD n In the past, no transfer credits would be applied to a students account until they were fully enrolled and the semester was in full swing n This often meant that students couldn’t determine if transferring in was a good option for them. n Now we input the transfer credits before they even get a grant proposal! They can see online where all their credits are applying in their degree before they even move in! n The new system also allows for department heads to see transfer credits and possibly assist in granting more or in academic advisement. Shifts in Enrollment services n For years, the responsibility to make schedules for incoming students. That was shifted to registrar one summer and never got moved back. n Registrar is curriculum. Eat sleep and breath curriculum! It was the logical choice. n This means that incoming transfers deal almost exclusively with me as there academic advisor for their first semester. Summation n Auditing and revising our transfer policy was only possible because of an institutional commitment to change the culture to meet the needs of the growing transfer student population. Chat Time!!! n Turn to you’re new friends and ask each other if there are ways in which their institution could reevaluate their transfer credit policy to allow for more credits to come in. n Rules keepers beware!! n With ever growing transfer student populations, do you think there is anything more you can do to bring them more support in the area of transfer credits? Session Goal 3 n Learn effective methods to holistically advise student pre-enrollment. The future can look bleak n We have heard that transfer student policies are a social justice issue. With the rising cost of Education, we are only going to see more of these students come through our doors. n Our goal is to help students graduate as quickly as possible by maximizing their transfer credits! Compromise n The fastest way to get some of our students out is to meet with them face to face and have what can sometimes be very hard conversations. n In reality, for many of our transfer students, the degree that will get them out the fastest is sometimes not the degree they initially choose. n How do we do this? Meet face to face n Admissions counselors will regularly call on Jamila (me) and ask to have a face to face meeting with one of their incoming students. n We will look at future desire like Masters degree pursuit or going directly into a professional field. n These discussions will often be personal in nature. They may be painful at times (bad GPA, bad degree choice etc.) but at the end of the day, we MUST begin to proactively get our students through our programs as quickly as possible. n We are in NYC and that population has very specific needs. Give the students the bigger picture! n We will explain to them their options and the financial ramifications of staying too long as well as graduate school options. n Example – student “X” wants to be a teacher but they have an Associates in General Education and only half their credits fit towards their degree. We will advise them to declare the Interdisciplinary studies degree and immediately put them in contact with our Graduate School of Education to maximize their remaining time in undergrad. n We take into consideration pre-reqs for their possible next degrees. YOLO n And this is so important because THEY DON’T KNOW THIS! It’s our job to know it and tell them!! Some don’t listen n Some students simply want what they want no matter what it takes. If this is the case, we make sure that they understand the ramifications of the choices they are making. This happens in ALL of Enrollment Services! n This sometimes breaks my heart, because debt is crushing. Not yet ours n We often deal with students who are not yet ours, but they know they want to be. n We bring them in and advise them as though they are already our students. We take ownership of them and walk them through step by step so they don’t waste any time or money. n This is also the responsibility of the student to initiate. We don’t advertise this, but we do support it whole heartedly! Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy for the student! n Another painful conversation we will have with students is those who do not have solid GPA’s. We may advise them to go elsewhere to work on their College abilities before coming to us. n Sometimes the best way we can help a student is to tell them that we are simply not the best choice for them. There may be another school out there that can offer them more transfer credits and they should go with that. Summation n In working with transfer students, their best interest should be our goal. Regardless of their final enrollment, you can know that you were successful in putting the students needs first. n The students don’t forget these experiences. They remember them and carry them with them wherever they go. They know that when they think back on Nyack College, there was a friendly person who genuinely wanted to help. Hablo Hablo!! n Do you feel like you holistically advise your incoming transfer students? n If not, what do you think you can do to incorporate change in your institution? Final Summary n We work hard to make sure that the student is as informed as possible, gets the maximum amount of credits, all the while helping them move forward in their goals. n When students know we are for them and that their success is our priority, they will get off on the right foot and know that as they work toward their goals, we are their allies.
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