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Barefoot and Gardner on Transfers

VIEWS: 21 PAGES: 26

									Rethinking the Other First Year:
       The Transfer Experience

                           John N. Gardner
                          Betsy O. Barefoot

          THECB Transfer Success Conference
                              May 22, 2009
         Wesley and Jack Barefoot


Future Texas Transfer Students?
And coming soon to a campus near you…



         Jon David
         Gardner




A Transfer Golf Team Student?
The Nation’s
Most Famous
Transfer Student
That all students would start and finish at a
 single four-year institution

   Historic notions of
    college do not include
    transfer.




Our Old Assumptions
Who are they?

 • Traditional 18 year olds

 • Dual enrollment students

 • Transfer students

 • Today, over 60% of college students transfer at
   least once.
    Transfer is normative, not the exception




Expanding our view of new students
Transfer is uniquely American!
The role of “crisis”

  ◦ Retention – the catalyst
    for attention to first-year
    students

  ◦ State economic concerns –
    the catalyst for attention
    to transfers

  ◦ Empty classroom seats –
    Why private institutions are
    courting transfers




Lessons Learned
The importance of good data/information

   What do you know
    about your transfers?

   How do they compare
    to native students?

   Moving beyond myths
    and stereotypes




Lessons Learned
The importance of interacting with students

   When is the last time
    you talked with a
    transfer student?

   How do you structure
    interaction
    With other students?
    With faculty/staff?




Lessons Learned
The need for common experiences

   What do all transfers need, no matter what
    academic department they call home?

   Who advocates
    for all transfers?




Lessons Learned
The importance of partnerships

   Between units
    on a single campus

   Between counterparts
    at sending and receiving
    institutions

   Between families and
    campuses



Lessons Learned
Similar concerns

   First-year

    ◦ SOCIAL

    ◦ Academic

    ◦ Financial




Lessons Learned
   Transfer Concerns

    ◦ Primarily academic

    ◦ (Also financial)




Lessons Learned
 The importance of advising

    While advising is
     important in the
     first year . . .

    There is special
     urgency for transfers




Lessons Learned
Value of special programs and services

   Pre-term orientation
   First-year and transfer seminars (TRIGs)
   Peer leaders/mentors
   Academic support
   Career planning
   Residential living
   Targeted financial aid




Lessons Learned
The desire for invisibility

Why?

  ◦ Fear of bias?

  ◦ Not wanting to feel like
    a “second-class” student?

Counter invisibility: Celebrate
and honor transfer student
accomplishments.




Lessons Learned
The importance of rewards

 ◦ Credit to institutions?

 ◦ Rewards to faculty?




Lessons Learned
Myths and half-truths
  ◦ First-year
    The first six weeks are the danger period.
    Only the worst students drop out.
    Work is bad for college students.
  ◦ Transfer
    Transfer students are not as “good” as native
     students.
    Instruction in two-year colleges is inferior.
    Transfers students don’t need support.




Lessons Learned
   Justice


    ◦ For freshmen

    ◦ For transfers




Lessons Learned
   While policy matters, faculty and staff on the front
    line have to take responsibility for transfer success.
   Demographic, economic, and public policy trends
    suggest we will have more, not fewer, transfer
    students.
   Texas is, and must continue to be, a leading advocate
    for the successful integration of transfer students.




Concluding Thoughts
   Invite your campus CEO and CAO to drive the transfer
    issue.
   Embed your transfer student commitment into your
    institution’s strategic plan.
   Collaborate with institutions in your region to support
    student transfer (e.g., UTEP & EPCC).
   Organize your campus to support transfers (e.g., “transfer
    centers”).
    ◦ Establish a standing committee to oversee the transfer
      experience.
   Make orientation a requirement for both first-year and
    transfer students.
   Examine campus financial aid policies to determine their
    fairness to transfers.


Final Recommendations
   Develop a transfer student “bill of rights and
    responsibilities.”
   Create regional, discipline-based faculty collaboratives to
    bring together two- and four-year faculty.
   Use reaffirmation of accreditation as an opportunity to
    focus on transfers (SACS QEP).
   Participate in national professional organizations whose
    work relates to student transfer (NODA, NACADA, National
    Resource Center for The First-Year Experience & Students
    in Transition).



Final Recommendations
   Share and celebrate best practices in the State of
    Texas.
   Conduct an institutional self-study of the transfer
    experience (e.g., Foundations of Excellence®).




Final Recommendations
     Contact Information
            John N. Gardner
 gardner@fyfoundations.org; 828-966-5309
            Betsy O. Barefoot
barefoot@fyfoundations.org; 828-966-5310
Policy Center on the First Year of College

								
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