materials, as well as programmatic offerings, must be reviewed
regularly. With students using the Internet as a primary source
of information gathering, it is helpful to conduct an annual
review of department websites. The following questions
regarding each home page should be explored:
; Is a link for transfer students prominently displayed on
the division and department home pages? (It is also helpful to
similarly examine the university’s home page.)
; Are photos on the department’s home page reflective of
the demographics of the transfer population?
; If reference is made to “new students,” are these individuals defined both as new-from-high-school students and new
; Regarding pages developed specifically for transfer orientation and services:
• What assumptions are made about the students reading
• Do the web pages provide a collective approach to
assisting transfer students by offering links to related
programs and services in other departments or divisions?
• Are opportunities available for prospective and new
students to hear the voices of current transfer students?
• Is the language free of university-specific acronyms and
references that may be confusing to students unfamiliar
with institutional departments, policies, and practices?
Similar questions can be asked when evaluating printed
materials. Current transfer students can be helpful in assessing
both printed and virtual materials to ensure that appropriate
and intended messages are communicated.
Identify Effective Transfer Services
Identifying services for transfer students is complicated by the
fact that this population is so diverse. The transfer student
who has lived at home for a year has a different set of needs
than the parent who returns to college to finish a degree after a
15-year hiatus. Part-time students bring a specific set of issues
as do students who commute long distances.
It is advisable for student affairs professionals to help trans-fer-intending and current transfer students develop appropriate sets of expectations to guide their transition. Thoughtful
consideration must be given to students’ potential economic,
cultural, personal, academic, and institutional challenges.
Additional concern should be given to hours of operation and
method of delivery related to transfer services. On-campus
time is frequently at a premium for transfer students due to
work and family obligations.
The following promising practices for transfer student
services reach beyond divisional lines, further illustrating the
need for campuswide approaches to assisting transfer students.
;;Transfer orientation. Orientation programs are para-
mount to facilitating successful transitions. They develop a
transfer-going culture at two-year institutions, while provid-
ing opportunities for holistic and intrusive advising and
guidance. At the university level, orientation is the vehicle
by which transfer students gain entry into the academic and
co-curricular community. Because the academic and social
needs of transfer students vary significantly, it is important to
create programmatic options for orientation. Offering transfer
students a blend of quality campus and online programs can
minimize the reluctance to attend “another orientation,” which
is common among students who do not feel they need to be
re-oriented to college or indoctrinated into a campus culture.