By John Reed
SC Staff Writer
East Stroudsburg University’s Transfer Center was formed in July 2013. Its purpose: assist transfer students through the transition between their previous institution and ESU.
Located on the first floor of the Student Enrollment Center in Zimbar/Liljenstein Hall, the Transfer Center is tucked neatly away in the far left corner. From this location they are able to effect change in the lives of ESU’s transfer students.
The staff includes: Assistant Registrar for Transfer Articulation Candice Pellegrino, Student Transition Specialist Steve Ives, Transfer Credit Evaluator Clotilde Fitzsimmons, and Clerk Kathryn Valentine. Though small in number, they have big plans for the future of the Transfer Center.
On a per semester basis, the Center holds Transfer Days to address any questions or concerns transfer students — or their parents — might have regarding registration, credit evaluations, and other transfer-related issues.
“Our hope for Transfer Days is to give transfer students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the campus and make them aware of the available resources,” said Steve Ives.
He continued, “We want to ease their transition by giving the transfer students a sense of security, as well as an option of where they can go if they have questions or concerns. We don’t want transfer students to feel they are alone in this process.”
With five Transfer Days held over the summer, incoming students were able to get their feet wet in a controlled setting, which allowed for the process to be completed in a smooth and efficient manner.
In an effort to make sure they continue to meet all students’ needs during the summer Transfer Days, the Transfer Center conducts a survey in order to get student feedback.
These surveys allow for a quick glimpse into what is working and what needs to be improved.
Of the 187 students surveyed, 184 agreed that the Transfer Day helped ease their transition to ESU with only one student disagreeing.
With two Transfer Days slated for the semester — October 29 and November 21 — transfer students will have a slew of services available to them.
They include: receiving/reviewing Transfer Credit Evaluations (TCEs), reviewing ESU degree audits, meeting with department chairs and/or advisors to gain information regarding their major, taking a campus tour, and many others.
Students have a unique opportunity during Transfer Days to sit down with an individual who can explain a TCE and explain how transferring credits fit into their programs.
The prospect of getting a full account regarding credits is advantageous because the Transfer Center can clarify the differences in class level between schools and how they fit into the curriculum at ESU. Transfer students need this level of transparency.
The Transfer Center has unique insight into scheduling these events throughout the semester because they are fully aware that timing is an important factor for transfer students to consider.
It is no coincidence that the October 29 event immediately follows the opening of class registration — which begins on October 27.
To further enhance the ease with which students can transfer, the Transfer Center’s Steve Ives has assumed a large and complex assignment — the Course Equivalency Project.
This is important because it pertains to how transferred credits are applied at ESU.
There are three ways in which credit is accepted: through an exact match (course title reflects the ESU course), a 199: considered a General Education Elective, and a 299 and 399: considered Departmental Electives with no match — each department decides how to apply the course towards the major.
“The Course Equivalency Project (CEP) will build our database in Banner and ensure reliable Transfer Credit Evaluations (TCE) for transfer students. It will also expedite the process of the evaluation of credits for our department and save valuable time for students, chairs, and advisors,” said Ives.
In collaboration with the department chairs, Ives will have to go through the entire class lists of ESU’s most common feeder schools.
By listing and comparing others school’s programs to ESU’s curriculum, the Transfer Center can then streamline the transfer process and update their database in the Banner system.
This helps to reduce the number of generic course acceptances and allow a transfer student’s credits to be used to help further their degree progress.
This is a major boon for students transferring to ESU because general or unmatched electives do not help complete degree-specific requirements — such as 30 credits at or above the 300 level.
The idea is to incorporate local community colleges into this plan and to keep an eye towards adding more colleges and universities in the future.
Currently, there are 12 colleges being added to the Course Equivalency Project: Northampton CC, Lehigh CCC, CC Philadelphia, Bucks CCC, Montgomery CCC, Luzerne CCC, Delaware CCC, CC Morris, Sussex CCC, Passaic CCC, Warren CCC, and Lackawanna College.
Eventually, the Transfer Center hopes to integrate all PASSHE schools into this system.
It will be used to further ESU’s flexibility in accepting a wider range of transfer students.
Students can contact the Transfer Center — located in Zimbar/Liljenstein Hall — via Student Transition Specialist Steve Ives at (570) 422-2808 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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