"Keep a course description & syllabus for all classes you take. These items will help expedite the evaluation process if the records office needs any additional information before they can post credit"
-Kent Morton, senior enrollment counselor at Taylor University - Fort Wayne, Indiana
"Connect with an advisor at your choice of transfer schools even before you begin your two-year program. Staying connected throughout your studies will help you maximize your transfer credit through communiction about course selection, and it will help keep you aware of curriculum changes. Knowing someone is also beneficial if you need a recommendation for either admission or a scholarship."
-Marty Burris, director of marketing at Rochester Institute of Technology College of Business in Rochester, NY
"Keep copies of your course syllabi. When departments review transfer credits, some departments will ask for a more detailed description of the course. The course syllabus provides information such as the title of the textbook and a detailed description of the course material and other information that is useful in the transfer process."
-Raymond Lew, vice provost for international education at the University at Buffalo
"Transfer students take advantage of a variety of living arrangements at four-year institutions. Many students will seek traditional dormitory living while others will seek off-campus apartments. There will be other students who have family or work obligations who will transfer to a local college and live at home. Additionally, four-year insititutions are creating different living situations to accommodate students' interests in being a part of campus but not in a traditional dormitory set up. These new facilities are of particular interest to transfer students and are drawing them back to campus for the full college experience."
-Jennifer Mailey, transfer coordinator/career counselor at Corning Community College in Corning, NY
ARE YOU UNCERTAIN ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH?
Here is some advice:
- Don't become alarmed or disillusioned if your course doesn't seem to define a clear career direction. Research, explore and learn - the path will become apparent.
When this happens, the majors and career goals will fall into place.
- Employers like to see a connection between coursework and on the job experience. Internships are a good way to make the connection.
- Visit your campus Career Center earlyand oftenduring your college years.
- Above all, make the career choice be your choice.
By Jennifer Mailey and Christopher Belle-Isle
Here are the most vital steps to take to make sure your transfer to a four-year college is successful. Good luck!
- Make an appointment with a transfer counselor. Discuss your transfer plans with a counselor, who can help you discover your options.
- Go to transfer fairs. If your college offers them, take full advantage of college-transfer days, which are excellent chances to get information from four-year colleges. Some colleges may schedule routine visits to your campus throughout the year. Find and become familiar with the fair schedule.
- Read your mail. College course catalogs and viewbooks are excellent resources. Pay particular attention to the sections about general-education requirements, transferring credits and your intended major.
- Go to the library. One useful reference book to use is Peterson's Guide to Four-Year Colleges.
- Use technology. Virtual tours, web sites and promotional videos can tell you a lot about the programs a college offers, the type of students on campus and the surrounding area. Check out the college's Web site for an online application, too.
- Find some money. Check out transfer-student scholarship opportunities. Your transfer office will have information regarding how to fund your education.
- Write for more information. Write to admissions offices and department chairpersons at four-year colleges for information about degree requirements and application deadlines. Discuss your transfer plans with faculty members, department leaders and deans at your two-year college.
- Identify the college characteristics most important to you. Do you want your school to be public or private? Rural, urban or suburban? Also consider:
- Geographic location and distance from home
- Number of students
- Student profiles
- Male-to-female ratio
- Graduate and undergraduate programs
- Full-time or part-time status requirements
- Financial-aid programs
- Transfer-student scholarship opportunities
- Housing availability
- Degree requirements
- Faculty-to-student ratio within a major
- Clubs on campus
- Recreation and intercollegiate activities
- Internship and co-op opportunities
- Apply for admission. Follow all admission application procedures. Start by requesting all the appropriate materials. Be aware of all application deadline dates. This is particularly important for high-demand programs. Although several colleges consider transfer applications on a rolling admissions basis throughout the year, it is recommended that you apply as early as possible.
Students interested in transferring for the spring semester should apply no later than September or early October. Students planning to transfer in the fall should apply by mid-November of the year before. High demand programs at four-year colleges may have earlier application deadlines than the college's general-education deadline dates.
- Go the extra mile. You are creating an application portfolio that tells a college of your capabilities and how you will be an asset to the campus. Submit your resume. Ask former instructors to write you letters of recommendation. Submit an essay or writing sample that demonstrates your abilities. Request an admissions interview so you can articulate your interest in that particular school. These are all ways to give admissions officers a better sense of who you are beyond your transcript.
- Ask your transfer office for help. Official copies of your transcript must be forwarded to the admissions offices of the four-year colleges to which you apply.
Usually, your current school's records office will mail your transcript records directly. You'll have to fill out a transcript-request form and pay a fee for each transcript sent. If you have attended other colleges, you must contact those schools and request that offical transcripts are forwarded from them.
- Submit a financial-aid transcript. If you are applying for financial aid at your transfer school, you'll have to request that a financial aid transcript be sent from each college you have attended.
- Visit potential transfer schools. To make your visit successful, you should:
- Schedule an appointment with an admissions officer.
- Call three to four weeks in advance to arrange your trip.
- Schedule an appointment with the department chairperson and/or another faculty member.
- Schedule a tour of the campus.
- Ask to stay in a dorm overnight and sit in on classes.
- Request literature about your intended program's requirements.
- If possible, have your application and transcript on file with the college prior to your visit. Take an unofficial copy of your transcript with you.
- Take advantage of admission and visitation programs set up specifically for transfer students.
- Read the college's materials before you visit. Become acquainted with the course catalog of the college you are visiting.
- Review your acceptance letter. If you applied to a specific program or major, make sure the letter indicates that you are accepted into that program and not just to the general college or university. Also check the dates to make sure you have been accepted for the appropriate semester!
- Send your deposits in by deadline, and review the credit evaluation. If you have not received an evaluation, contact the admissions office and request one. The evaluation should state what courses the college will transfer, how they fit into your program at your new college and how many credits you have left until your bachelor's degree. Ask for clarification if needed.
- Review your financial-aid package. Learn what each item in your package means, and ask if you can expect the same kind of funding each year, provided your FAFSA data doesn't drastically change. Sometimes students are promised great financial-aid packages only to have their funding pulled the next year. Understand what is involved in borrowing and paying back student loans.
- Read all materials your transfer school sends you. Many colleges have special orientation and advisement programs for transfer students. Some have specific course registration times. Participation in these programs will help you understand your environment and ensure you make a smooth transition to a four-year school!
Christopher Belle-Isle is director of transfer and placement at Monroe Community College. Jennifer Mailey is transfer coordinator/career counselor at Corning Community College. Both are past presidents of NYSTAA, the New York State Transfer and Articulation Association.
SOURCE: Transfer Guide 2004 - The Next Step Magazine, 86 W. Main Street, Victor, NY 14564
ADDITIONAL TRANSFER TIPS
Once you have received your acceptances, it is important to read them thoroughly to find out when the deposit deadline is. You will need to review the information that follows your acceptances as well:
- Financial Aid Package
- Quality of Education
- How Well the Major Fits Your Needs
- Number of Credits Transferred
- Setting of College
- Geographic Location
It is important to explore all the information provided to you by the college. You also need to ask questions; talk with the faculty, students, admissions office & financial aid at the colleges/universities you have been accepted.
Also talk with family, friends and those at SUNY Orange you have learned to trust and respect. discussing your plans with a counselor who is familiar with your college choices can also facilitate your decision.
Finally, pay close attention to deadlines. There will be a notification deadline that will include a monetary deposit. Make sure you follow these deadlines to ensure your place in the class.
If you have any questions regarding transfers, please contact the Advising & Counseling Center, 3rd Floor, George F. Shepard Student Center. Phone Number - (845) 341-4070. Other transfer information may be found on their website at: www.sunyorange.edu/advising/transfer/index.shtml.
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