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Transfer Planning (One year in advance)

Doug Peacock – Wayne State University. University Advising Center 10/3/2022

You just finished a successful first year of college at your institution. If your plan is to transfer for the following year. Here is what you should be doing and you should expect in the following year leading up to you starting at your next institution.


Apply now for admissions. Most schools, the application is open for next fall. Even though, you still have two or three semesters of work before the fall, you can start by getting admitted. Of course you will need to do the Transfer Application not the First Time student or Graduate application. If you applied out of high school, that will no longer apply.

Send transcripts now and get admitted now. The nice thing about getting admitted now is that schools like Wayne State use an appointment system for scheduling with advisors. Wayne State uses a software called STARS and you will have access to it as soon as you are admitted. You can meet with your new advisor and make sure you are on track for a successful transfer. MTA is not required during the admissions process. Do not wait for MTA to send your transcripts.

Transferring Credits

See if you are on a plan that is best to transfer two years worth of credits or three.  Some programs like business have articulation agreements that will accept three years worth of credits. AIf you are doing one of these programs, there is nothing you need to do now.  You will apply next fall. You can find this out by talking to your major department at your four year school.


Be patient. Just because you are admitted, does not mean we are ready to advise you for your Wayne State courses. After admissions, you will receive an official credit evaluation. At that point, your new advisor can see how your credits are being applied.  We also use a software called Degreeworks. This is where you can see how everything transferred and what else you have to take at Wayne State! Not everything will be complete because you are still taking courses at your school. If you are in contact with your advisor, they can see your official transcripts right away. Some advisors can work off that.

More stuff

  • Activate your email! If you are admitted, start checking your WSU email and communicate with WSU through this email.
  • Look up a potential schedule by going to: – You can use the Browse courses function if you are not admitted yet.
  • Schedule Orientation
  • Career Services. Reach out to career services and look up potential internships and professional activities.
  • Inquire about student groups on campus.
  • Take a tour of campus
  • Know key dates (secondary admissions, scholarships, orientation, etc)
  • Financial Aid – October 1 of this year is when your FAFSA will open for the following year. No packaging will happen until you are admitted.
  • Finally, keep doing well at your two year school. You will be leaving soon. But, not yet. Get started right at your next school by finishing strong at your current place.

What is a 3+1 Transfer

by Doug Peacock, Wayne State University. University Advising Center

We recently started visiting some of our two-year partners again. I missed seeing some of the marketing materials and events for transfer students.  It’s always interesting to me to see what other schools are doing for transfer students. My next blog will be about how you are being marketed to as a transfer student and what goes into enrolling you wonderful transfer students! For now, I want to talk about one of the more popular marketing slogans that I see at the community college. The “3+1 Transfer Agreement!”

What is a 3+1?  A 3+1 is a transfer agreement that is accepting a 3rd year of transfer credits from your two year school. Essentially you are going to stay at your community college for your Junior year and finish the bachelors at the 4-year school in one year. Make sure to read the fine print on how many credits are being used in the “3” For some schools it’s 90. Which should make your final year 30 credits at your 4-year institution. Some schools will allow you to do 82 credits and do the final 38ish at the 4 year school.  Make sure to understand the final curriculum at your four year school when you start. If you did a 3+1 one. You should be able to complete the bachelors portion in one calendar year (full time). Sometimes in two semesters. Some schools have the summer built into their 3+1. If you do not like taking summer classes then you would have to take courses the following fall.   But, you don’t have to do a 3+1 in 4 years. Really the 3+1 is determining credit. Not time. In Most of these, there is no timeline established.

  • Almost always, a 3+1 transfer agreement is for a specific program. Business being one of the more popular. But, some schools have them in Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Nursing, and some Engineering Technology programs.  Most schools only offer the 3+1 agreement in a few specific programs.  Your Associate Degree will have to line up correctly with the bachelors. For example: If you want a bachelors in business. You have to do an Associates in Business. Ask your advisor if the school you are looking at has one for the program you want.
  • Financial Aid. If you did your associates degree already at your two-year institution, you may have trouble receiving financial aid if you are now trying to do the 3+1. Most two-year schools will not allow you to receive any more financial aid post associates degree. Some schools like Wayne State and Macomb Community College have a consortium agreement that will allow more financial aid.
  • Check out the electives portion. Some 3+1s have a decent amount of electives.  These are great areas to apply military credits or international credits. 
  • A 3+1 almost always has an Associates Degree involved. The Associates Degree is the catalyst that brought this agreement together. It also is the prompt for the 4-year school to go beyond the original transfer credit limit at your school. In Michigan, most 3+1 agreements have an associates degree and the MTA built in.
  • Ask your advisor if the program you are doing has a 3+1. The earlier you decide to do a 3+1 the better for finishing your degree in your desired timeline.
  • These programs can expire or get cancelled. Make sure the 3+1 you are doing is still good. Usually on the agreement on the website – there is an expiration date.
  • You can switch out of a 3+1 agreement. You will likely lose some credits. It will all depend what you plan to go into next.

Here is a list of the WSU Articulation Agreements

Transferring for Housing

By Doug Peacock – Wayne State University – University Advising Center

A quick post about transfer students and housing. Once in a while I will speak to a student that wants to transfer with a super low amount of transfer credits. I usually try and advise a student to get the 24 minimum or at least come over with the Michigan Transfer Agreement. Moreover, some students need housing that their community college does not offer.

If it is the best plan for your transfer, I can help you with Wayne housing. We have wonderful on campus living. I do like to offer an alternative. Some Michigan Community Colleges have stepped up their living options with on campus housing. Jackson College in Jackson Michigan and Saint Clair County Community College in Port Huron offer on-campus housing. You could transfer your community college credits or 4-year credits to one of these institutions. Finish an Associates, MTA and receive in-district tuition rates at that school. Do this for a year then move on to the 4-year school when you complete more transfer credits. This would be a significant cost saving!

Here are the links to housing at Jackson College and SC4.

Housing at Saint Clair County Community College

Housing at Jackson College

Are Adult Learners “Starting Over” or “Restarting”? Coming back doesn’t mean going back to square one

By Amber Neher, Advisor for Warrior Way Back, CLAS Phoenix, and Adult Learners at Wayne State University – University Advising Center

Returning to campus after an extended time away, even if it is now virtual, can feel like taking a step back in time. Maybe you are remembering your recent high-school graduate self and all the insecurity that went with it. Or, perhaps you are seeing younger faces surrounding you in class, and your extensive professional resume’ doesn’t seem to fit. Rest assured, the decision to reengage in your college journey does not mean starting over! The experience you have gained in your time outside the classroom are an unparalleled asset to your success as an adult learner. This is especially true if you have taken advantage of transfer credit options.

As you reenter academia as an adult learner transfer student, armed with invaluable “real world” experience, here are some realities to keep in mind:

You are a different student than you were 5, 10, 25 or more years ago. I often see transcripts from students who attended a university right out of high school many years ago, and the grades were not excellent. This is normal, and to some extent, expected. Life does not stop happening once a student enters the classroom, and often there are elements out of one’s control that have a direct impact on the academic outcome. A death in the family, uncertain finances, homesickness, and more are valid reasons why the “first go around” didn’t go as planned. As university advisors and counselors, we recognize this. While we are interested in learning about what happened and what has changed since then, we do not judge or discount students for being human! Along the same lines, credits generally do not expire (although program requirements may change), so that means credits from an English class from 1994 likely still count toward graduation.

It’s (almost) never too late to consider more community college classes. We often hear about the “standard” transfer student path as two years at a community college for an associate’s degree, then another two years at a university for a bachelor’s degree. However, it rarely works out this way! For the most part, students can transfer about 60 credits from the community college, but they don’t have to be all at the same time. I see adult learners take courses at the university in the fall and winter semesters, then take a few at the community college in the spring/summer. Others are more flexible, and may return to the community college for an entire year before registering at the university again. The closer a student gets to graduation, the trickier it gets to find those transfer courses, but it’s a worthwhile conversation to have with your university advisor. By maximizing transfer credit, students can save around $20,000 on tuition! Programs like Wayne Advantage-Macomb make this process simple.

Be professional, and be honest. During your time away from education, you likely worked in a few professional positions. Leverage those professional skills in your academic journey! Your academic support team (admissions counselors, advisors, instructors, etc.) should treat you with respect, and a mutual shared value for respect goes a long way. This means understanding working hours, email and phone etiquette, and more. It also implies that you must be honest about your previous experiences and goals, such as balances at previous schools, academic struggles. If your decision to pursue a degree is due in part to advancing in your career, this is a great opportunity to practice professionalism.

Explore all of your financial (aid) options. Financial aid has changed a lot in the last ten years, and especially so since the COVID-19 pandemic. Where you may not have qualified for mush assistance

previously, there may be new opportunities available to you. As an adult learner, you are more likely to need to complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeal to receive aid. Processing a SAP appeal could take more time, so plan accordingly. Check that you do not (knowingly or unknowingly) have any loans in default. File a current FAFSA as soon as possible, even if you do not need financial assistance, as it could open you up to scholarships as well. Finally, it is worth asking your employer if they provide any financial assistance. Questions about financial aid can always be directed to that office at your community college or university.

Choose an institution that reflects your needs academically, socially, and logistically. This is perhaps the most important piece in planning your academic journey. Verify that the institution you are considering is adult learner friendly – that means flexible course schedules and formats, and one that prioritizes the needs of returning students. Seek out other adult learners on campus to share your experiences. Verify that you can get to campus (or virtual class) when your courses are offered, and you will not need to go very far above 120 credits to complete your degree. Wayne State offers many of these service to adult learners, including a dedicated adult learner advisor as well as a GPA and debt forgiveness opportunities, extensive transfer pathways, and adult learner-specific programming.

As an adult learner transfer student, there are many layers affecting your path and success at the university. Your university support team is here to answer questions and refer you to the many resources that may not have been available during your last experience as a student. Armed with your unique professional, personal, and academic arsenal, you are poised to achieve your goal of graduation and beyond. When you are ready to (re)start your journey, reach out to Amber Neher, the advisor for Warrior Way Back, CLAS Phoenix, and Adult Learners at Wayne State: or

Transfer readiness (Do’s and Don’ts)

By Doug Peacock – University Advising Center at Wayne State University

For the last 19 months we have been meeting virtually with transfer students. I think about some of the students that I have met with.  Some students are ready to transfer! Some students need additional transfer assistance to successfully transfer.  Here are some do’s and don’t for getting the most of your transfer experience.

Do – Be honest on where you have been. Students tell me they have been to one school and then I find out they have been to multiple schools. Whether it is through admissions, an unofficial evaluation, or financial aid. We are going to find out and there may be consequences.  I will always try and work with you even if it is not going to be Wayne that you attend. The transfer community is pretty small and we have connections or recommendations at other institutions.

Do – Visit campus outside of Orientation. I did not visit the school I was going to until transfer orientation.  I do not recommend this.  I understand that making an additional trip may be taxing. Schools have made it much easier to get an on campus experience with virtual open houses and presentations.  Get an idea of where you will be spending the next couple of years!

Don’t send your parents – Your parents cannot attend class with you or go to a job interview. Do this yourself. Trust the people you are working with at your next institution. Trust yourself to make the best decisions. Take ownership of your credits and everything you do for transferring.

Don’t bad mouth your prior institution. Especially the advisors.  It sets a bad standard with advising at your next school. I do not like it when a student talks poorly of advising at a former institution. I work with a lot of advisors and I truly feel they are absolutely doing their best to serve many students.

Do-Understand the transfer GPA/credit requirements. Some students come to me to discuss transferring. Transferring and enrolling comes after an admissions decision is made.  If you are well below the GPA requirements, then there will not be any transfer opportunity at that institution. I try my best to give other transfer options if my school will not be an option.  

Do -Show transcripts. Have them ready. Don’t bring a copy of your curriculum plan. We want to see your actual courses. That is most helpful.

Do – Watch your language.  If you were to swear in a job interview, you would very likely not get that job.  Treat transferring this way. Amazing how many students curse or swear in front of professionals. This is a bad start to transferring. It tells me that you are not transfer ready.

Do- Write down your questions prior. I love when students do this. Write down your questions for a transfer professional.  Let us go through them one by one.

Don’t meet while driving. Virtual Appointments are great! It is not safe to do this while you are dodging traffic. Find a time to speak in an office or a stopped car so you can safely have your notes and questions prepared.

Do – Turn your TV down/off. Amazing in the virtual appointment how clearly background noise comes through. Try to find a quiet spot. 

Do – Meet early. It is never too early to start considering how you will want to transfer. Your first semester or prior to starting at a community college is a great initial start. Again, it is never too early. It is often too late. And feel free to tell your advisor if this process is confusing to you.

How to complete a reverse transfer

by Doug Peacock – University Advising Center – Wayne State University

Whether you are trying to send your four-year credits to a two-year college for the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) or an Associates or just to show you have completed some pre-requisites. There are some steps to follow to successfully complete a reverse transfer:

Reverse transfer sounds easy. But, it actually takes a little bit of work from you and two-three institutions. Follow these steps to complete a reverse transfer.

  1. Request your official transcripts to be sent from your four-year institution to your two-year institution. A transcript request form is on your four year schools website. Your two year school will list where to send transcripts to on their website. Make sure all of your courses are complete before sending transcripts. A school will not give credit for in progress courses.
  2. If you have already taken courses at the two-year institution, your four-year courses will be added to your student record. This can take a couple of weeks. If you have not taken courses there before. You will have to apply for admissions to create a student account.
  3. WAIT. Wait for your credits to be uploaded on your two-year schools record.
  4. When your four-year courses have been added. You can then proceed to A) Take courses at the two-year school B) Start working on your associates degree or C) Finish the MTA.
  5. When you are done with the classes you want to do at your two-year school. You will have to apply to your next school and send transcripts from your two-year and former four year to your next school. Your new four year will not take another schools credits off of your two year schools transcripts. If you plan on going back to your original school, you just have to send transcripts.
  6. If you are doing this for an Associates Degree or the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) make sure the degree and/or MTA endorsement is on your transcripts. Usually there is a request form or email you need to contact.
  7. WAIT. Wait again. Wait for your credits to apply to your next schools record. Meet with an advisor to make sure everything has transferred in appropriately. If you are getting the MTA. Your Degree at Wayne should now show General Education as waived.

You have successfully completed a reverse transfer.

All official undergraduate transcripts should be sent to the following address:

Wayne State University
Transfer Credit Evaluation
P.O. Box 02759
Detroit, MI 48202-0759 

Official electronic transcripts should be emailed to

Bringing your credits together – Adult Students

By Doug Peacock University Advising Center Wayne State University

I absolutely enjoy working with adult students. It gives me the opportunity to bring credits from multiple places together and get a student restarted toward a degree.  It is a little like cooking. It is fulfilling to me to bring together someone’s college credit past into a tangible degree option.

You started at one school. Then transferred to another. Then Stopped.  Life happens.  Maybe it has been a few years.   Regardless, now is a good time to go back to finish that degree. Furthermore, right now is even better. With programs like Future Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect, this might be the time to get the transfer process started again. Transferring is not as hard as it seems. Here are some tips on bringing your credits together toward a bachelors degree.

Transfer everything everywhere!

OK. Not really. Transfer all of your courses back to a community college. Look at doing the MTA. Michigan Transfer Agreement. MTA will repackage your General Education and complete the Gen-Eds at most schools. You may already be done and not even know it. Or, you could be one or two courses away from the MTA and instead of four or five courses away from completing the Gen-Educatio at your institution.

Remember, this is on top of having to transfer everything to your 4-year school for the admissions process. It is just a little bit of paperwork. Lots of moving parts. You got this!

Do you have a lot of four-year credits?

The good news. Two-year credits usually stack on top of your four-year credits. If the majority of your courses are from a four-year school. Then, this is the opportunity to save some money by fulfilling those credits at a two-year school. Try to get back to the four-year institution and do close to the minimum residency requirements. Also, check again at your former four-year institution. That is the school where you already have a residency. The credits you have taken there can apply to your residency. Where starting at a new school will start a new residency. Check each schools residency requirements.

*Residency is the amount of credits required to take at that school to get a degree.

Be Transfer Ready and informed.

Have a plan. These are your credits. This is your degree. In the end you have to own your credits and understand how your college credits are working for you. Learn about transferring. Good news. We are here to help. 

  • Every school will have someone you can talk to. I recommend applying to multiple schools.  You can compare costs, scholarship packages, transfer credits, time to completion and degree options. 
  • Make sure you are talking to the right people. Example. Make sure you are asking financial aid, financial aid questions. Not an academic advisor. Get right to the experts!
  • Be honest with where you are coming from: former schools, bills, and GPA. A good transfer professional will know a transfer option even if it is not their school.

Get the degree you want

Some students want the fastest degree. Still, consider something you want to do. Get the degree that you want. Sometimes it is not that much more credit than your “fastest option.” This is from personal experience. I did a graduate degree that was the fastest. I got to the end of the degree and said “Hmmmm. I could have finished the actual program I wanted in another semester and a half.”

Changing Community Colleges? (Michigan Reconnect)

by Doug Peacock – University Advising Center at Wayne State University

Hi everyone, It has been a while since I blogged. It has been a busy transfer student month. The Wayne State Transfer Student Success Center and myself presented at the NISTS-National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students. Had a great virtual time learning about all the initiatives schools are doing. Seems to be a common trend of getting in touch with transfer students. Where are you?

I wanted to write about changing community colleges and the Michigan Reconnect program. Governor Whitmer announced that the State of Michigan will pay for your two-year school if you are over 25 and do not have a degree. So, what am I seeing?  Since Michigan Reconnect requires you to go to the Community College in your district. I am seeing students that went to one community college. Now they live in a different community and want to do Reconnect in their own new residence. For some students it has been a while since they attended their old community college.

Michigan does not have a uniformed community college curriculum. Every school has different requirements for degrees and MTA. A student that was maybe one course away from an Associates Degree at their former institution is now three courses away from a degree at their new institution. I would register for the courses at the new institution for free using Michigan Reconnect. Transfer my courses from this school back to my old school to finish the degree. Both community colleges should be able to help you with this.

Side note

Michigan should unify the requirements for the MTA. I understand this will affect associates degree requirements. A glitch in the MTA is that one school will let you use a Speech course as a Humanities another will not. Or at some schools History is a Social Science and at others it’s a Humanities. One school will even let you use an Anthropology course as a Science. Which is great! There are a lot of these discrepancies. The more flexible this program is the better it will be for students that are moving around districts.

Transferring with Electives

Are you transferring and changing majors? Are you going to lose a lot credits? The answer is “maybe” It depends on the major you now want. Some majors are built with electives in them. Majors like Business, Engineering, Social Work, and Nursing are packed with requirements that will put you at 120 and above.  But, some majors you can finish the degree and be well below the 120.  Regardless, there is no getting around the minimum 120 credits for a degree.

Here is how to check if the credits you have used will apply to a new a major.

  1. Make sure the credits you have taken at your former institution transfer. You can check four-year to four-year transferability at MITRANSFER.ORG  – Don’t forget only “C”s or better will transfer. Also, most credits in the state of Michigan are listed at:
  2. Do the math on the new major. The program website will list the number of credits in the major. Some majors will do a two to four year cycle of courses and list electives.

Let’s use the example of the Wayne State College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. All rough estimates!

General Education 32 Credits

Foreign Language 6 credits

Minor 20 credits.

Major 35

Total 93

Electives. 27 credits needed to get you to 120

Say you were a business major at your former institution. Now you want to do Sociology. Your Business courses will likely not fulfill General Education, Foreign Language or your major.  There is potential to fulfill the electives or if you want to consider a business minor.

If you are transferring into a major that lists a lower number of major credits. Like 30-50ish. You should not have to worry too much about transfer credit loss. Even better, bring in the MTA and an Associates of Arts!

Congratulations Joyce Lien – 2020 Advisor Training Academy Transfer Advising Champion Award!

by Doug Peacock – Wayne State University

I would like to congratulate Joyce Lien, Academic Advisor at Wayne State University in the College of Engineering for winning the 2020 Advisor Training Academy Transfer Champion Award. In conjunction with the Wayne State Transfer Student Success Center, this award is given to an advisor that exhibits strong knowledge and support of transfer students. Other awards given were Outstanding Academic Advisor, Outstanding New Academic Advisor, Outstanding Academic Advising Team, Advising Spirit Award (advising mentor), and Transfer Advising Champion – NEW for 2020!

My experience working with Joyce has been incredibly positive.  Joyce works with all students that enter Wayne’s Engineering Technology, Computer Technology, and Construction Management degrees. These are all programs that are required to have transfer credit from an Associates of Applied Sciences program. Furthermore, Joyce has been successful in setting up articulations with these programs.  Joyce spends time at the Wayne State extension centers meeting with and preparing transfer students to start at Wayne State.

Joyce is a valuable asset in the Wayne State Transfer Advising Committee (T.A.C). The T.A.C. meets monthly to discuss experiences with transfer students from an advising perspective. Because many students forget to get the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA). This year, the group evaluated incoming Fall 2020 transfer students for the MTA. This positively influenced fall students classes and saved students money!

Congratulations Joyce! Also, Thank You to the Advisor Training Academy for recognizing the hard work people do with transfer students.