Academic advising plays important role in student transfer experience

January 11, 2021
  • Advising
  • Research
  • Transfer and Articulation
  • Academic Advising
  • Transfer
College advisor meeting female college student

Data indicate that a transfer student’s experience with academic advising is an important factor in the student’s perception of the transfer experience. A recent AACRAO Research report found that most institutions use different types of advising depending on the student and/or the program he/she is enrolled in or plans to enroll. Fourteen percent of institutions do not require transfer students to meet with an academic advisor. In addition, the timing of academic advising for transfer students varies across institutions. 

While further research is required to determine whether these findings have any impact on the percentage of credits awarded in transfer and the percentage applied to the program of study, the report offers the following recommendations on policy and practice for advising transfer students:

  1. Coordinate with local high school advisors more closely around dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate credit early in a student’s high school program to help students understand how/if credit will be accepted and applied.      
  2. Build strong academic and advising partnerships with primary transfer institutions: provide onsite advising, educate each other about degree requirements, and explore ways to streamline or articulate curriculums whenever possible. 
  3. Encourage early and regular advising engagement with students who intend to transfer. 
  4. Require that all new transfer students meet with an academic advisor AFTER their credits have been evaluated and BEFORE registration. 
  5. If applicable to the student, encourage reverse transfer to promote completion or a credential award that could be meaningful to the student.

This report is one of several conducted by AACRAO on transfer. AACRAO offers additional resources on transfer and articulation, which is a professional proficiency.

For more information on transfer research and best practices, follow AACRAO’s Transfer Student Success Work Group as it develops a proposal on what policies and practices need to be in place to support an institution designated as having best practices for transfer student success. The proposal will be reviewed when the group convenes in 2021 and used to finalize identifiable policies and practices.