Starting the Conversation: Strategies for Navigating the “New Transfer Student”

For the last five years we have seen a rapid shift in the educational requirements needed to obtain employment and to advance up the career ladder.  We have also seen an increase in transfer students and those looking to go back to school.  These factors have led to a change in attributes of the typical transfer student.  This session, presented by John Ocasio and Mandie Corcoran will take an in-depth look at what the University of Arizona is doing to create a smoother transfer process for the new age of transfer students.


See this session and others at AACRAO's Technology & Transfer Conference in Austin, TX.  Register today!

Mandie Corcoran

Regional Transfer/Freshman Admissions Counselor Northern California

The University of Arizona

John Ocasio

Transfer Admissions Counselor

The University of Arizona

Sunday, July 12, 2015 1:45 PM - 3:00 PM


Describe your roles at the University of Arizona.

Mandie:  I am based in the San Francisco bay area.  I am currently serving as the Northern California Regional Transfer/Freshman Admissions Counselor for the University of Arizona.  I work directly with transfer and high school students in the Bay Area to facilitate their transition to the University of Arizona. I am available early in their freshmen year at the community college to help them plan their transition to the University. 

John:  As the transfer admissions counselor, I assist prospective and applying transfer students and readmitted students returning to the university.  We admit close to 2,000 transfer students annually, a third of which are coming from Pima Community College, where I am based.  I connect with students soon after they first express an interest in attending the University of Arizona and provide them with the right resources and programs to make their transition as smooth as possible. 

What do you plan to cover during your session at AACRAO Tech /Transfer?

Mandie and John: We plan to provide two perspectives of transfer.  The first considers a student transferring from a local community college; the second considers out-of-state students interested in transferring to the University of Arizona.  Many of us are playing catch-up trying to understand the needs and demands of these new transfer students.  At the University of Arizona, we are creating a model to succeed with this “new breed” in academia.  This session will demonstrate the various programs that we have implemented to create a smoother process for transfer students.  These include increasing our support on campus through the creation of our transfer student center, expanding our availability to students through regional recruitment, increasing our online availability and virtual workshops, and bridging the gap for students through our UA Bridge Program.

Tell us briefly about what the University of Arizona is doing to create a smoother transfer process for the new age of transfer students. 

We have created a program called STU 210: Transfer Strategies class offered at Pima Community College. As you have heard, the transfer population is rapidly growing and multi-dimensional.  This class is tailored for community college students to take the semester before they transfer to a four year university, with an emphasis on the University of Arizona.  The program seeks to facilitate transfer through expedited admissions, priority registration and specialized tours. 

What is one major point that attendees will gather from attending your session?

We will convey that dealing with the transfer population is certainly not a one-size-fits-all process so reaching students as early as possible is one of the most important activities we really strive for at the University of Arizona. 

After students arrive on campus, we try to ensure that we have programming in place to keep transfer students connected, whether it is the tailored transfer programs, or pre-advising services.

What are some examples of best practices used by the University of Arizona in the transfer area? 

Universities that can set up satellite campuses can significantly boost their student population.  For example we have something called UA South where we are partnering with community colleges across Southern Arizona.  Another strategy is to offer more classes on-line.  Beginning this fall, a student can obtain a University of Arizona degree one hundred percent on-line.  Finally creating multiple programs geared specifically towards Transfer students. 

What are you looking forward to at the upcoming Technology and Transfer Conference in Austin?

We are interested in finding out what are other institutions doing to serve transfer students outside the state of Arizona.  What has worked and what hasn’t worked?  How can we work collaboratively nation-wide to serve this burgeoning population?  In the past, transfer students had been more of an afterthought, but we are realizing now in higher education that we must make provisions to serve this population more effectively.