Transfer students are important members of our campus communities. To better understand some methods that student affairs staff can use to creatively aid in the recruitment and retention of transfer students, we turned to Nicholas DeFalco, the Director of Transfer Admission at North Central College (IL). He told us that, “The division of Student Affairs isn’t one that has typically been leveraged in recruitment efforts. While institutions may request representation from student affairs professionals at visit programs – an important part in students finding their community on your campus – the specific areas we typically think of being regularly called upon for assistance in recruitment efforts are Residence Life, Orientation, or for the lucky few, the ‘Transfer Center.’”

“With Residence Life, they provide access to residence halls for tours and student-hosts for overnight visits, Orientation helps mitigate summer melt of deposited students with their programming and student outreach, and a Transfer Center (which could be housed in a multitude of different divisions), while having varying responsibilities based on size and structure, is usually left supporting all things transfer.”

“Interestingly, we know the departments within Student Affairs play arguably the biggest role in developing community and a sense of belonging among college students, which we also know is important for mitigating transfer shock and increasing retention, so one could naturally ask why don’t we better incorporate these community building partners into our regular recruitment activities. The answer, in short, is that many times we overgeneralize the needs of transfer students. ‘How do my classes transfer?’, ‘How soon can I graduate?’, ‘How much is it going to cost?’ are probably the three most universally asked questions asked by transfer students. While the answer to these questions are incredibly important, they shouldn’t be the only questions that define their college experience. Working with the departments within Student Affairs to provide robust programming and resources for transfer students, and then articulating those community-building services to students and their families, can help make your institution stand out – even if your answers to those three quintessential questions aren’t as favorable as a different institution.”

Please join Nicholas to learn much more, including how to collaborate with a campus team of “transfer champions,” during our June 8th webinar on Transfer Students: Collaborate Across Campus to Improve Recruitment and Retention.