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A Growing Population - Transfer Students at CSU. Paul Giberson Coordinator for Transfer Programs Paul.giberson@colostate.edu (970) 491-7352. Defining a transfer student. Nationally - The movement of a student and their credits from one post secondary institution to another

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a growing population transfer students at csu

A Growing Population - Transfer Students at CSU

Paul Giberson

Coordinator for Transfer Programs


(970) 491-7352

defining a transfer student
Defining a transfer student
  • Nationally - The movement of a student and their credits from one post secondary institution to another
  • Colorado State University - A student who has graduated from high school or has a GED, ANDis currently taking or has taken more than 12 semester credits of college-level course work since high school graduation (or the equivalent) at an accredited institution.
  • Types:
    • Vertical – 2-year to 4-year
    • Horizontal – 2-year to 2-Year or 4-year to 4-year
    • Reverse – 4 year to 2-year
    • Swirl/multiple – more than one transfer in any direction

They are traditional aged and senior citizens. They are overachievers and underachievers. They are international students; parents with young children; they are students with disabilities; they are displaced homemakers; first generation students; students in recovery needing a nurturing atmosphere….

Bernice Dunn, 2004

transfers in the us
Transfers in the US
  • 1/3 of all students will transfer at least once.
  • 43% of two-year students will transfer at least once.
  • 20% of students will attend three or more institutions.
  • Almost 60% of all student who earn an undergraduate degree will do it by transferring credits from one institution to another.
csu transfer profile
CSU Transfer Profile

Fall 2011 transfer cohort profile

  • 15% minority
  • 24% nonresident
  • 6% international
  • 48% female
  • Among transfer students entering in the Fall 2011, the highest proportion entered the College of Liberal Arts (22%), followed by Intra-University (21.8%) and the College of Applied Human Sciences (16%)
  • As a percentage of the total number of undergraduates in a college, new transfers account for the largest proportion in the Warner College of Natural Resources, followed by the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Applied Human Sciences
  • 41% of transfers enter as sophomores, another 30 % enter as juniors
  • 33% of transfer students are first generation, 25% of freshman
  • 52.4% transfer from two-year institutions and 46.3% transfer from other four-year institutions
students enriching education experiences eduventures research study 2009
Students' Enriching Education Experiences (Eduventures Research Study, 2009)
  • Transfers are significantly more likely than non-transfers to indicate they do NOT plan to participate in educationally enriching experiences, such as study abroad, participation in a learning community, and community service.
  • Transfers also spend significantly less time participating in co-curricular activities.
  • On average, transfers provide a lower rating of the quality of their relationships with other students on campus than non-transfers.
obstacles to a successful transfer
Obstacles to a successful transfer
  • Negative attitudes and low expectations.
  • False perception of knowledge of new institution.
  • Lack of adequate information about the social and academic climate of the new institution.
  • Course transferability issues.
  • Problems with registration, orientation, academic advising, housing, etc.
  • Student expectations based on positive prior institutional experiences.
  • Misperceptions about transfer students by faculty and staff at receiving institution.

“Strategies for Successful Transfer Orientation”

Ward-Roof & Cawthorn, 2004

keys to transfer success
Keys to transfer success
  • Faculty/staff support
  • Personal motivation/self discipline
  • Supportive environment
  • Peer support
  • Availability of needed courses
  • Professional development for faculty and staff

“Strategies for Successful Transfer Orientation”

Ward-Roof & Cawthorn, 2004


Transfer students need to be provided with services similar to those offered to first-year students, although we need to recognize that their needs are different from first years.

Vincent Tinto, 1993

marginality vs mattering
Marginality vs. Mattering
  • Marginality
    • Feeling that one does not fit in. Feelings of marginality produce feelings of self-consciousness. Feelings of self-consciousness then lead to an inability to perform at one’s usual ability level.
  • Mattering
    • Feeling that one belongs and matters to others. When present, mattering diminishes marginality and promotes a healthy and successful transition. In the context of higher education, we can say that students succeed when they feel valued by others. Students “fail” (academically, socially, etc.) when they feel marginalized.
  • When students transfer to the institution they are often doubtful about their academic and social abilities.
  • Rendon defined validation as “an enabling, confirming, and supportive process initiated by in- and out-of-class agents that foster academic and interpersonal development.” (p. 46).
  • Validation can be most effective and powerful in the early stages of a student’s college career, preferably (before and) during the first few weeks of classes.
  • Validation of past successes acts as a motivator for future achievement.

Evans, N.J., Forney, D.S., & Guido-DiBrito, F. (1998). Student Development in College: Theory, Research, and Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

transfer programs @ csu
Transfer Programs @ CSU
  • Next Step Transfer Student Orientation
    • The goal of Next Step is to help students make a smooth transition to Colorado State while maximizing the value of their experience. Students have the opportunity to meet with an academic advisor, learn about policies and procedures specific to CSU, explore academic and involvement resources, and much more! Next Step sessions throughout the year.
  • Ram Welcome for Transfer Students
    • Each semester right before classes start, Transfer Ram Welcome offers a series of activities to acquaint transfer students with the CSU campus, resources, services, other students, and traditions that define what it means to be a CSU Ram. Activities include, but are not limited to, the Transfer Student Induction Ceremony, Transfer Connection, and the University Welcome and Convocation.
transfer programs @ csu1
Transfer Programs @ CSU
  • Transfer Mentoring Program
    • The Transfer Mentoring Program pairs students with a Transfer Mentor who has already made a successful transition to CSU and is dedicated to making sure the transition is a positive one. Transfer Mentors are available to answer questions and provide students with opportunities to explore CSU, Fort Collins, and connect with other transfer students during the first semester. Transfer mentors conduct outreach via email, plan social connection programming, and assist students by connecting them to resources and services.
transfer programs @ csu2
Transfer Programs @ CSU
  • Transfer Student Communities
    • Orientation and Transition Programs has developed a number of communities for new transfer students with an interest in learning more about the resources at CSU while networking with other transfer students, faculty, and staff. We provide two types of communities to choose from:
      • Learning Communities – These communities are designed for transfer students who wish to actively engage in their academic success. Requirements for these communities include enrolling in designated classes and participating in a weekly community seminar meeting. Example communities include: Business Interest and Global and Political Issues.
      • Transfer Interest Groups (TrIG) – These communities are open to all transfer students, regardless of major, who are interested in taking their college experience to the next level. Students participate in a weekly, not-for-credit community seminar meeting to learn more about the resources and services available at CSU, make direct connections with faculty and staff, and form a community with other new transfer students who have a similar interest. Example communities include: Explore Fort Collins, International Connections, Outdoor Adventure, Student Veterans, and Women Back in School.
transfer programs @ csu3
Transfer Programs @ CSU
  • Transfer Student Clubs and Organizations
    • Tau Sigma National Honor Society - is an academic honor society designed specifically to recognize and promote the academic excellence and involvement of transfer students. Members have access to scholarships and various networking and leadership opportunities.
    • Transfer Student Association - is an organization created by transfer students specifically for transfer students and provides leadership and networking opportunities, a place to meet people and make friends, and highlights ways to get involved with the CSU community. Each semester the organization host social gatherings, participates in community service projects, and discusses ways to improve and enhance the transfer process for future transfer students.
my roles
My Roles
  • Welcome students to CSU and answer their questions
  • Help transfer student establish realistic expectations of the transfer process
  • Assist transfer students in engaging in the campus community
  • Facilitate connections with advisors, staff, faculty, etc.
  • Help you help your transfer students
  • Advocate for transfers students
  • Refer students to you as the “expert”
contact information
Contact Information
  • Paul GibersonCoordinator for Transfer ProgramsOrientation and Transition Programs in CASA(970) 491-7352paul.giberson@colostate.eduhttp://www.otp.colostate.edu/transfer-students.aspx
  • Orientation and Transition ProgramsCenter for Advising and Student Achievement(970) 491-6011orientation@colostate.eduwww.otp.colostate.edu