Towson University’s Transfer Student Center helps over 2,200 students prepare for their new academic journey
When a new academic term starts, a lot of attention is put on freshmen who are getting ready to start their college journey. But another group of students who are starting a new collegiate adventure are transfer students.
For the past five fall academic terms, transfer students made up over 2,200 of each incoming class. For the fall 2019 term, TU welcomed 2,203 new transfer students, which made up 50% of the incoming class.
To help transfer student adjust to their new academic home, TU has worked to develop the Transfer Student Center (TSC). The TSC is a collaborative effort between University Admissions and the Academic Advising Center, and serves as a “central hub” for TU’s transfer students.
“Our goal is to connect transfer students to the resources they need before and after they transition to TU,” says Alicia Arkell-Kleis, associate director for University Admissions. “Our doors are open to all transfer students regardless of where they are in the process.”
Through their partnership, University Admissions and the Academic Advising Center each work with different aspects of the TSC.
Admissions manages the day-to-day operation of the TSC and handles the recruitment and admission of transfer students as well as the evaluation of transfer credit. In addition, Admissions is responsible for community college partnerships and articulation agreements.
The Academic Advising Center is focused on building a robust advising experience for incoming transfer students. A primary focus is on pre-advising – helping students plan for their academic transition from the community college by giving them the TU perspective on how best to prepare academically.
The idea for the TSC came out of President Kim Schatzel’s TIGER Way Initiative (Transfer, International, Graduate, Enrollment, Resource). One of the reasons President Schatzel created the TIGER Way Initiative is to help TU take a holistic approach to deliver a seamless transition for transfer students.
“Most of the staff in the TSC had been working exclusively with transfer students for many years,” says Eric Welkos, coordinator of the Transfer Advising Program, “So we were excited when President Schatzel made it a priority to enhance the transfer student experience and create a designated space that transfer students could call their own.”
The TSC is housed in the Admissions Office in the Enrollment Services building. It provides an array of services for prospective, newly admitted and currently enrolled transfer students.
Students can meet with staff to learn about the admissions process, TU’s Core Curriculum and major requirements, or understand how their courses will transfer. The TSC also helps students explore possible majors, discuss course selection at their current/previous institutions, and map out plans to complete their degrees.
The TSC also understands that resources from pre-matriculation to graduation are important, and they are working to develop more reliable pre-matriculation offerings. For instance, the TSC will now provide unofficial evaluations of transfer credit and help guide course selection for prospective students prior to them applying.
These are just a few of the ways TSC and Towson University are helping to make transfer students feel at home. TSC is also celebrating its transfer students by offering special events and programs during National Transfer Student Week, which takes place October 21-25.
“TU definitely has a holistic approach to delivering a seamless transition for our transfer students,” says Arkell-Kleis. “A lot of offices come together to provide support along the way. We recognize that the needs of transfer students are different from those of freshmen so we offer programming and events that are tailored to their unique circumstance.”
Current transfer students and prospective students can learn more about the services offered by the Towson University Transfer Student Center.
Located on the third floor of the Enrollment Services building, students can visit TSC on a walk-in basis or by appointment. Prospective students are encouraged to schedule appointments for pre-transfer advising and transfer credit evaluations.
Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a .m. – 4:30 p.m.
This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: TIGER Way.