The Transfer Student Success initiative, tasked to design innovative approaches to ensure support for TWU’s transfer students, began its work in Fall 2018. Despite some changes in leadership, the current co-champions have guided a team of approximately 12 faculty and staff members invited from divisions across the university. These individuals, selected for their expertise and passion, identified three areas of focus:
- Information (data) collection and sharing
- Recognition (visibility) of transfer students
- Student support services
Action items have been developed in each area.
The team confirmed essential information about the TWU transfer student population. First, each fall TWU welcomes approximately equivalent numbers of first time in college (FTIC) students and transfer students. Additionally, TWU’s transfer students graduate at higher rates than their peers at other four-year institutions. Together, these data indicate that TWU enrolls a higher-than-state-average number of transfer students, and that our students outperform their peers. The team recognizes the need to share the demographic profile of TWU’s transfer population and their successes with constituents within and outside the institution. A transfer information sheet has been developed to highlight these characteristics, and will provide an ongoing record of student progress.
The recognition subcommittee continues to search for new ways to recognize and engage transfer students, such as:
- Transfer Connection
- celebration of National Transfer Day
- transfer student orientation
Efforts also are underway to expand and enhance social media outlets to promote transfer student engagement and to create a positive transfer experience.
The committee identified three best practices that are consistently touted in transfer research, but have not been implemented at TWU:
- A Transfer Hub – a structural and/or virtual location designed to provide accessible, consistent information for transfer students
- Required New Student Orientation for transfer students – currently available, but not required
- Required academic advising prior to enrollment – research suggests that all new students, regardless of academic level, benefit from academic advising prior to enrollment
We have seen progress in our quest to enact all of these supports and will continue to advocate for their implementation.
Questions about this initiative can be directed to Barbara Lerner, Lynda Murphy, or Kyle Voyles.
Written by the Strategic Plan Design Team