Programs smooth out transfer student transition

As students attend their first week of classes, two campus programs are working to assist new and transfer students in their transition to campus.

Whether individuals need assistance through the admissions process or want to sign up for an orientation session, New Studnet Programs and the Transfer Student Center programs are designed to help those who are new to campus adjust to their new life.

New Student Programs aims to help all newly admitted students,  and the Transfer Student Center is designed to support those who have transferred to the university and makes on-the-spot assistance available to them.

The university provides new student orientation sessions through the New Student Programs department. However, enrollment numbers will determine the fate of some programs’ scheduling from semester to semester, said Phil Campbell, coordinator of New Student Programs.

“I think our transfer students are very important, and we do need to find that connection component,” Campbell said.  “However, their attendance and their enrollment tend to fluctuate, so I think it’s going to be different year-to-year, and I think it’s going to be needs-based.”

Campbell said while transfer students can attend any scheduled orientation, New Student Programs provides one orientation a year specifically for them.

New Student Programs provides orientation opportunities for already admitted students, and the Transfer Student Center helps those who might still need to complete the admissions process.

Tamara Workman, director of Transfer Student Services, said the department is focused on helping with last minute registration details as the school year gets into full swing. The service aims to provide transfer students with the opportunity to have all of their work wrapped up in one visit, she said.

“If we do not have the answer, if the student needs to go somewhere else, we follow through and make sure the student gets the information they need and gets to the location they need to be in without being referred,” Workman said. “The transfer student staff is trained to meet the student’s need, whatever that need may be.”

Melanie Schmeck, an admissions and records officer in the Transfer Student Center, said the center’s job via SIUC’s Two-Plus-Two program involves dealing with transcripts and reporting back to the students at the seven area community colleges in order to ensure they are prepared to transfer with the proper credits.

The university’s Two-Plus-Two program works with prospective students to make sure their current community college classes match up with the university’s general education requirements.

Schmeck, a transfer student herself, said because the Two-Plus-Two program strives to ensure community college students are on the right track with transferring credits, those students are very well prepared when it comes to meeting the university’s requirements. She said the program helps eliminate the possibility of taking courses that will not benefit students for their degree.

Workman said the services are available to any new transfer student who has not gone through the Two-Plus-Two program, and their  needs can be addressed quickly no matter their schedule.

“(The students) can stop in at the transfer center,” she said. “The evaluation staff over there can receive the transcript and take care of putting the hours up on the student’s record right away.” Workman said.

Spencer Cordts, a junior from McHenry studying education and history, said these programs seem to be working.

“I thought the experience was really easy,” he said. “They made everything pretty step-by-step.”




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About Karsten Burgstahler

Karsten Burgstahler can be reached at or 536-3311 ext.255.

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