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.
n Jamila Yousif All
but Thesis for MA
in Global History –
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
Marvin Gardens (Fake Name,
you’re welcome FERPA!!)
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
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
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
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
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
n Fostering intentional interdepartmental
relationships can ultimately result in serving
students more effectively which can effect
-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
Let’s meet Sunshine Sara
n Sunshine had 88 transferable credit in Early
n With our old transfer policy Sunshine would have
only gotten 72 credits requiring her to stay an extra
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
Where we were before the
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
What we did to bring
about a change in policy
n We first looked at the curriculum of other NY state
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
- 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
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
Shifts in Enrollment
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
n This sometimes breaks my heart, because debt is
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
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.
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.
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?
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
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.