How to Create a Campus Conversation about Transfer Student Success: The Transfer Symposium

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Susan Davies

Appalachian State University

Neva Specht

Appalachian State University

How to Create a Campus Conversation about Transfer Student Success: The Transfer Symposium​

Monday, July 07, 2014
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM


What is the Appalachian Transfer Symposium all about? Do you get together and discuss strategies to increase transfer student enrollment, or do you focus more on how to improve the transfer process itself?

Neva Sprecht:
At this meeting, we  focus on how to support the students throughout the transfer process. We try to inform them about how the process works currently, and how it might be improved from a unit-by-unit standpoint.  

Susan Davies:
The enrollment management department works more on recruiting potential transfer students, but we strongly believe that if we have an excellent transition experience for transfer students (and great programming), then that is going to positively impact our ability to recruit those students. 

What prompted you three to present on this topic?

Davies:
The Transfer Symposium on our campus was a way to create a campus-wide dialogue on transfer student success. In attending past conferences, we haven't seen or heard of any sessions that might help interested parties spark some transfer-specific culture on their campuses. We have had a lot of success with building and hosting this symposium and we wanted to share what we learned in the process.

This actually reminds me a bit of a session given by Bart Grachan at NYU, Common Problems in Transfer... and Common Sense Solutions. One of the main take-aways I had from the presentation was to impress upon both administrators and faculty the need to make the transfer process more clear and easy to navigate. I would imagine that the symposium helps accomplish that?

Sprecht: 
I would agree. For example, from the academic side of the house it allows faculty and staff to highlight aspects of the transfer experience that they may have taken for granted before attending the symposium. So I think that it is definitely helpful for students coming in and making sure they don't slip through the cracks on the academic side. 

Can you tell me more about how you implemented and organized the meeting?

Specht:
We sought to include as many different units across campus in student development and academic affairs as we could. So we were able to get about 200 people to attend in total. We worked on a marketing campaign across campus to get the word out and we encouraged groups to come as a team to incite dialogue within their respective departments when they got back. That all made for a good conversation across all the units, I think. 

Davies:
I would add that we had 70 different departments represented across campus. We were really happy at how interested the staff and faculty were in the transfer process. We also have a website we set up for the meeting: its transfersymposium.appstate.edu

What take-aways do you hope attendees will walk out of your session with? 

Davies:
We are happy to share pretty much everything we did to set up the symposium. I would also encourage attendees, or any other interested parties to check the site out. All the presentations and handouts that we used for the symposium are available on the website. But another thing I hope is that we'll learn what other campuses are doing. No one has all the answers, so I am looking forward to an engaging dialogue so we can all walk out having learned something new on transfer student success. 

 

Post Publication Edit: The answers to the question "Can you tell me more about how you implemented and organized the meeting?" were attributed to the wrong individuals inintially. This has been resolved.