In an effort to find ways to ease transfer students’ social and academic transition to the University, the Senate of College Councils formed an ad hoc committee to address the issue.
The Transfer Student Ad-Hoc Committee, which is open to both Senate and non-Senate members, met for the first time Thursday to set an outline of which issues are most important for transfer students. At the meeting, the students discussed the possibility of a transfer student services office, an extended transfer student orientation and the tracking of transfer students. Students also spoke about their personal experiences and concerns.
Committee co-chair Corey Hayford said transfer students lack these resources on campus.
“When you’re talking about a population that is that large, and for them not to have the resources offered to other students, I think that’s a key issue that needs to be addressed,” said Hayford, who transferred to UT from St. Edward’s University.
The committee is divided up into subcommittees for CAP and PACE, external transfers and internal transfers. The committees will submit proposals that will then be examined and potentially implemented.
“We’d like for each group to do their own research and have a proposal set up by April, so we can thoroughly do the research we need to do,” Hayford said.
When the new Senate session starts, Hayford said he hopes the committee will become its own Senate agency, a group that reports to Senate but operates somewhat
George Bennett, a computer science junior who is not a member of Senate, said he joined the committee because he thinks transfer students lack the same resources as freshman and don’t get basic information, such as how to register for classes, explained in enough detail.
“Personally, I had a lot of negative experiences with orientation and things like that — that they kind of walk freshmen through but that they don’t really do that for transfer students,” Bennett said.
One of the topics the committee discussed is transfer credit. Hayford said many students lose credit because the University does not make it clear to transfer students what courses do not transfer from outside institutions.
“My experience hasn’t really been that bad because I’m going to graduate in the summer, so just a little over four years [without] losing a lot of credit,” Hayford said. “But I have been around a lot of students who have had a bad experience and who have not had the proper resources.”
Hayford said the biggest problem for internal transfer students is the lack of access to restricted classes required for a given major.
“The major issue with internal transfers is that the applications for the internal transfer process are not read until June and you pick classes in April,” Hayford said. “If you’re not in that college in April, then you’re not able to register for those restricted classes.”
The committee is also looking into aiding transfers with social adjustment to UT by creating a transfer student Camp Texas, an extended orientation that adds social activities to the orientation and resource and career fairs.
“There are not a lot of transfer student organizations and stuff for transfer students on campus,” said Nick Sajatovic, co-chair of the committee. “They definitely don’t feel at home right away when they come here, like freshmen do.”