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 admissions@wayne.edu

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: transfercredit.wayne.edu
  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.

Don’t forget your MTA Endorsement!

by Doug Peacock – Academic Services Officer, Wayne State University

It’s not referred to as a stamp. Thank You 2-year advisors for correcting me. It’s an endorsement or designation, or certification.

I wanted to remind students that their is a big difference between having the courses complete for the MTA and getting endorsed for the MTA. If you do not get the physical endorsement of the MTA from your community colleges on your transcripts. You will almost always be missing general education categories.

Every two-year school will have a different process for issuing the MTA endorsement. Some require you to send an email to their Registrars. Some require a form. Know what your two year school requires to receive the MTA and know how to get it. Your two-year advisor will tell you if you are eligible but the Registrar will actually give you the endorsement. Depending on what classes you took to get the MTA, it may not lineup with our general education. Very rarely do our gen-eds lineup with the MTA courses.

MTA Advice:

Get the MTA endorsement as soon as you are eligible. Once it is on your transcripts. It is there for good. This way you don’t have to worry about it when transferring. As soon as you are admitted to your next school check to see if it has been applied. Sadly, the MTA is sometimes missed on our end. It can usually be resolved very easily.

A lot can change from the time you applied to the time you started. Classes, Major, You may not have had the MTA at the time of admissions or Transfer Orientation. Just keep in mind that MTA covers all general education at most institutions and can transferred in later.

Consider reverse transfer. If you need to get an additional course to fulfill the MTA. Consider taking it at the four-year school. You can see how courses transfer from a four-year school to a two-year school by going to MITRANSFER.ORG and using the Transfer your courses tool.

Cobble your credits together. Have you been to a couple schools? See if you can transfer everything to one of the community colleges you have attended to get endorsed. If you have been to more than one Michigan Community College, check each schools MTA course requirements. From my experience every school interprets the MTA courses differently.

Reach out to someone at the four year school to see if the MTA is the best avenue for you. At Wayne State we recommend contacting the Transfer Student Success Center. TSSC@wayne.edu or for Virtual Appointments: TSSC.wayne.youcanbook.me. We can guide you on your best options.

Enrollment Specialists: Beware Transfer Institutions’ Use of High-Pressured Enrollment Tactics

by Doug Peacock, Wayne State University

CRM and the New Algorithm for Recruitment

Students who plan to transfer from one institution to another will start the admissions process the usual way. They fill out either an application or an inquiry form. In the past, students simply would be informed of the transfer institutions’ decision and either transfer or look elsewhere. Such simplicity no longer exists. Now, there will be a barrage of attempts to recruit via phone calls, texts, and e-mails. Ten or more such efforts aimed at each applicant constitute standard operating procedure for most departments of admissions. To generate enrollment during these times of keen competition, universities/community colleges/private schools have taken a page from marketing and begun to use high-pressured sales tactics.

Let me illustrate with one example. While at a grocery store, wearing a shirt with my school’s  logo, the cashier piped up, “I applied to that school and got bombarded. They called so much that they decided to go to another school.  I apologized to the student, briefly explained the web in which she was tangled, and promised to untangle her.  The gist of my explanation was that her name was entered into software called Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Through some algorithmic logic, the CRM produces the best dates and times to contact students. One student may be programmed to receive phone calls on days 1, 3, 5, 10, and 15  and e-mails on days 2, 4, 6, and 11. Text messages may also be a form of communications. The operator, not always/usually/or sometimes admissions counselor mark the interaction as either successful or unsuccessful. This procedure continues ad infinitum or until the institution reaches its enrollment numbers.

CRM is the lifeblood of transfer institutions, the 4-year schools and colleges competing for community college students seeking to further their education. If used correctly, it is a great tool.  But when misused, students not only get bombarded with efforts to reach them but have bad/poor/uncomfortable interactions with professionals at the transfer school.  Traditionally,they would introduce and discuss key features of the school and answer questions from both the prospective student and parent. Now, however, professionals at high pressure schools are guided by a script that, in all likelihood, was created by a consultant.

The high-pressure tactic of CRM might enable the professionals to reach their goal for the terms, luring in a certain number if bodies, and thereby keep themselves employed. Done properly and respectfully, recruiters should ask lots of questions, listen actively, and in that way discover the area of work and the corresponding degree that are right for the recruits. If such deliberation is absent in an interview, if students feel rushed and not listened to, they should ask themselves this question before spending thousands of dollars, “Do the institutional representatives have my best interest or those of the institution alone foremost in mind?” A good rule of thumb is that if recruiters detect hesitancy and invite either a supervisor or colleague into the interview, they unintentionally raise a Red flag that you should heed. 

Behind the Scene of High-Pressured Enrollment Tactics

I have had the misfortune of being employed at more than one institution that expected its employees to reach impossibly high goals with the use of high-pressured sales tactics. CRM and its accoutrements are straight from Wall Street. For profit Institutions desperate for enrollment put students in awkward and uncomfortable positions with high-pressured and unrelenting sales tactics. Management monitoring CRM interactions does not allow for much flexibility in student-recruiter interactions. If incessant e-mailing, calling, and texting do or do not produce the answers expected, recruiters resort to a script designed by a marketing consultant.

In 2012, having acquired a fair amount of experience with traditional admissions, I made what I thought was going to be a successful career move. I was offered and accepted a position at an institution with high recruitment goals in new territory for their online programs.  Excited that I would be able to help students enroll fully online with the details as well as with the larger considerations of transferring, hoping that I could somehow make experience as free of stress as possible, I was quickly disillusioned. The goals of the new institution were inflated, not at all based on traditional enrollment figures, the micromanaging was maddening, and the turnover was such that I would hardly get to know one person before another one appeared.

Job Hunting? Tips for Assessing the Sales Approach of Transfer Institutions

After accepting the offer at the new institution I looked back at the red flags that were up when I was interviewing.  

At what institutions has your prospective supervisor worked?  A lot of for-profit schools have closed; their managers ended up somewhere. So did their sales tactics.

What is the turnover? If every person or the majority of the enrollment team has been aboard less than a year, turnover is high and the red flag is waving.

Does the job title include the word “Sales”, “relationship building” or “Account”? If so, caution is in order.

Is information about the institution’s programs on the web? If you have to ask someone, suspicion is in order. Professionals are expected to call incessantly until students enroll, and while they may not, the less they can learn on the web about the institution the more likely that high-sales tactics will be effective.

Would you like some evidence of stability within the work environment?  Life in high-pressured enrollment recruitment is much like going round and round in a revolving door. People are not important, impossibly high goals are the only things that matter.

Do you like some degree of autonomy in the workplace? Micromanagement is the only means to the end of reeling in students, so the recruiter is called immediately after the student leaves, quizzed on the proper use of a script, and berated if a student fails to enroll. 

Would you like to expand your knowledge of higher education beyond enrollment recruitment? Forget it; the selling tactics are so intense and the effort to sell so relentless that the field in which one works is a blur.

I believe institutions like this fail to realize that they may have some good products. Their good products are a reason they are still in business. Their sales tactics show the fear they have as an institution.

What I Learned

The job that I took lasted three years. While I did not like my experience, thought it represented the worst in recruitment, I did learn something about myself. I had spent years gaining confidence in my interactions with students. I was respectful of their thoughts, spoke of my institution honestly, and found that my no-pressure   style not only put students at ease but worked best for me. I was not comfortable applying aggressive sales tactics, I saw that they agitated the students,. And had no doubt that such tactics were for short-term goals. What’s good for the goose (me), I recall myself thinking, is good for the gander (students).

My Advice to Prospective Transfer Students

As advisors, tell students to have a straightforward conversation. State clearly why you are looking at that particular institution, ask questions for clarification and as a means to confirm initial impressions, and try to assess whether the institution will be a good fit based on the demeanor of recruiters, front-line representatives of institutions to which you will give thousands of dollars over a two-year period. Do not forget to keep price in mind.  These schools often use a high-pressure approach because they know they are not price competitive.

As advisors, ask students whether they had a bad experience with high-pressured enrollment tactics. The quality of the relationship between two-year and four-year colleges depend in part on the reception of prospective students. The two schools communicate through meetings and various forms of advisor updates where complaints are reported, red flags are raised, and the transfer institutions begin to worry about their ability to recruit. Two-year schools take these complaints serious and may with to disengage these schools for future articulations agreements.

Finally, as advisors, tell students who are no longer interested in the institution to request that their application or inquiry be deactivated and to state the reason for deactivation. Doing so will prevent messages from accumulating as texts or piling up in the inbox or voicemail. It also just might help institutions improve recruiting tactics. 4

When NOT to follow the MTA

Doug Peacock – University Advising Center at Wayne State University

The Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a great transfer option for community college students in Michigan. It covers the general education requirements at many Universities in the State of Michigan. 9 out of 10 times I am going to recommend the MTA. OK. 8 out of 10. MTA is a game changer and a game saver for most. For some it will put you in courses that are not necessary. Here are some scenarios that I do not recommend following the MTA.

Engineering and Elementary Education.  MTA is accepted and used. However, many of the major requirements cover the general education requirements. Following the MTA can put you in classes that are already covered by the major.

Science majors Most STEM advisors do not want to see the MTA. Transferring after the MTA will stop you from having a balanced schedule and graduating in 4-years. With these majors I still recommend the MTA. But, do it after you transfer or in a dual enrollment fashion like Wayne Advantage-Macomb.

Are you deep in Math Pre-requisites?  Did you place low into Math?  Do you have a year of Math pre-requisites before you get to an MTA approved math course? If you count the amount of classes to get to the necessary math transfer course. Is that number the same as the amount of courses you would have to fulfill the general education at your School?  You could potentially fulfill all the general education by going class to class in the general education sections and taking your Math at Wayne State. We offer a few Quantitative Experience courses that you may enjoy and has NO Pre-requisites. This will depend on your major.

I am transferring. I don’t know what I am doing!

by Doug Peacock, University Advising Center at Wayne State University

For a few weeks we have been meeting virtually with students. I am amazed at the overwhelming confusion students have with transferring.  Let’s breathe and make this as simple as possible. Most students I speak to have already applied prior to speaking to someone at Wayne State.  Let’s look at some transfer tips before deciding to apply:

Before you apply to transfer you should read these steps:

  1. Who should I talk to at that school?  At Wayne State we are now available for Virtual appointments. This is a good place to start before applying.  https://tssc.youcanbook.me/   Talking to a professional is the correct first step.  We can discuss if this is the right time for you to begin transferring.
  2. Before you apply. Know how many credits you have.  Most transfer schools publish how many credits are required to not request high school transcripts.   Wayne States is 24. Some schools are less. Understand that not all of your credits might be considered transferrable.
  3. Before you apply.  Know your cumulative transfer GPA. Usually transfer admissions is pretty cut and dry as far as GPA requirements. Wayne State is a 2.5 GPA.

**If you do not meet the criteria for that schools minimums then this is likely not the correct time for your to apply. Speak to a transfer representative at your planned school as a prospective student. Correct Transfer Planning with a professional may help you gain admission to your school.

3A) Did you know that Wayne State will admit you with a 2.0 GPA if you have an Associates Degree?  Yes, you can transfer courses from your 4-year to your 2-year.  You will have to meet with an advisor at the 2-year to see where you stand with toward an associates degree. Read my next blog on transferring after 1-year at a 4-year.

4) Should I send all of my transcripts?  YES. I get students that think that because credits transferred from their first school to their second they do not have to send them again. WRONG.  All transcripts must be sent from every school you have attended.  

5) Know the deadlines. Scholarships, admissions, or a program that has secondary admissions.

6) Are you entering a special program? Every school has special programs like Wayne Advantage-Macomb, or Honors, or Warrior Way Back. Make sure you speak to someone that works with the program before starting. Do not assume you are in that program. Often times there is an agreement or an application that needs to be completed.

7) Finally. Understand who you are talking to. Not every person at the school can answer every question about every program. You may have to do some digging to meet the correct person. For example. Your advisor will not know everything about financial aid and vice versa. Do not be offended if the first person you speak to has to refer you to someone else or a different department.

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