Transfer students find their place, get involved

While some students go directly to a four-year college like UNA after graduating high school, others decide to take a different route and go to two-year universities before transferring to four-year schools.

These transfer students have to learn to navigate a new campus, become familiar with new faculty and—sometimes—change the way they live.

“Get involved in a student organization, whether it be academic or social,” said Director of Student Engagement Tammy Jacques. “It’s important—from my perspective. Getting involved will help (students) build communication skills, critical thinking skills and time management skills.”

Getting involved will also help transfer students get to know other people, especially if the student does not know anyone at the new university, and will improve skills that could help students academically, Jacques said.

“(Transfer students should) take advantage of the career planning and development office as they try to explore their career paths and as they’re preparing for their job search,” Jacques said.

Jacques said students should go to the Office of Career Planning and Development as soon as possible because it is there to help students become successful.

Other services that can be used at UNA specifically are tutoring in the Center for Academic Advising and Retention Services and the Center for Writing Excellence. These tools can help supplement what students get in the classroom as well as out of the classroom.

Jacques said to get involved on campus and with faculty because it will build skills and help students in many ways.

“Don’t wait until the last minute to talk to your faculty,” she said. “They’re there to help and support students.”

Some UNA transfer students also have advice for other students who have recently transferred to the university.

“I would get involved in some kind of organization,” said Brianna Clark, a UNA geographic information systems major. “Be involved where you can get to know people.”

Some transfer students have experienced problems with academic credits transferring properly.

“Get involved; don’t single yourself out, because if you transfer, you most likely aren’t from here, and check and make sure the credits match up,” said UNA accounting major Angel Sandler.

Some transfer students have even lost credits.

“I lost quite a bit of transfer credits; look into it before (transferring),” said Sam Buxton, a UNA business major.