Engaging Students to Prepare for Successful Transfer

June 28, 2021
  • Professional Development and Contributions to the Field
  • Transfer Summit
  • 2021 Transfer Summit
Transfer Interview

AACRAO’s 2021 Transfer Practice Summit is coming soon and we were excited to interview Austin Community College’s Transfer Resource Director, Renee Esparza, about her upcoming session at the Transfer Practice Summit Engaging Students to Prepare for Successful Transfer

In her session, Ms. Esparza will speak on her experience from the two-year community college perspective and illustrate how her team focuses on enabling students to be active participants in their transfer planning process.

In describing her session Ms. Esparza said: “Through this presentation, I hope to talk about some strategies we can use to engage students. What are some of the practices that a community college can implement, that really helps support students to begin active transfer planning early… and will ideally help them save money in the long run.”

During the interview, Ms. Esparza focused on the importance of transparency with students throughout the transfer planning process and giving them the tools they need to make educated and insightful decisions about their future. 

“We want to do more than just spew out information to students, we can explain to them what transfer guides are, and core curriculum, and articulation agreements, but unless they fully understand and comprehend what those things mean and if they can apply that knowledge to their personal experiences that’s how it becomes more meaningful. If we get them to be active in researching institutions and connecting with different admissions representatives from some of the four-year institutions, that really makes a difference. What we want to make sure we do is that students have ownership over their decisions…”

Ms. Esparza also gave a great example of how her institution is putting these practices into action to ensure their students are choosing the best-fit solution for their situation.

“...A lot of students start at ACC (Austin Community College) and say “I want to go to that school, this is where I’m going, I’m not looking at any other institutions.” but it’s a highly competitive institution, not everyone gets in. What we realized after some time is, they’re taking classes, they’re following  transfer guides for that specific institution, and then once they don’t get in they don’t have a back-up plan…”

“So one of the things that we do every year is we do University Panels. On those panels, we bring five to eight university admissions representatives to essentially sit in the front of the room and we have every single one of them answer all of the questions we have. We start with some general questions from our team “What are the admissions requirements?”, “What type of tuition assistance do you have and how much is tuition?”, “What are the application requirements?”, “What kind of student would be successful at your institution?” we have everyone answer those questions, and you have students actually learning about their options. It’s really engaging them in active research and exploration so that they can find what will work for them.”

In closing our interview Ms. Esparza encouraged attendees to attend her session with ideas they want to share and will leave time at the end of her session for discussion and collaboration.

Interested in attending AACRAO’s 2021 Transfer Practice Summit? Register now to get started.