Create a transfer community with ambassadors

Student ambassadors and tour guides who have attended an institution since day one of their higher education career may have a hard time relating to the transfer student. This realization triggered an idea between staff at Miami University: it was time to establish a Transfer Ambassador Program. Sarah Unger and Emilee Suchomski, both Assistant Directors and Transfer Coordinators at Miami University in Ohio, created the Transfer Ambassador Program in 2014. Their goal: build a community amongst current and future transfer students.

Unger and Suchomski determined the transfer student community at Miami University needed:

  • More transfer tour guides
  • Connection for prospective transfer students
  • A community between transfer students

New transfer ambassadors receive in-depth training, including attending a retreat where roles and responsibilities are defined, reviewing best communication practices and ways to spark a conversation, and a group favorite: the awkward question bucket. Additionally, ambassadors participate in student panels, write personalized postcards to admitted transfer students, and act as a point of contact for prospective transfer students.

The transfer ambassadors play a huge role in the recruiting cycle, attending Miami’s Mega Fair, managing social media and The Hub accounts, and provide personal connections to prospective and incoming students.

While the program may have had a slow start (5 members in 2014), interest continues to grow within the Miami University transfer student community. There are currently 50 members, 25 of which are active.

Moving forward, Unger and Suchomski see the program continuing to grow. Additionally, they would like to grow the group’s online presence, offer mentorship and student leadership opportunities, and an advanced opportunity to become a tour guide.