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.

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. or for Virtual Appointments: 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.   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.

Congratulations to the WSU Transfer Student Success Center!

Congratulations to the Wayne State University Transfer Student Success Center for being named to the 2020 Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Honor Roll. Click Here for the full article. It’s great that Wayne State has an office like this. Congrats to all of the staff and student workers. Your hard work for transfer students is appreciated!–39339/

We’re still here….Virtual Transfer Advising

By Doug Peacock Academic Services Officer II Wayne State University

Because of the Covid 19 Pandemic, we have quickly moved to online advising.  For current WSU students, most advisors are using Zoom and Microsoft Teams.  Appointments are still through the advisingworks website. What about prospective students? We still want to talk to you!

During the foreseeable future we will not be visiting our partner institutions.  All prospective transfer advising will be done over the phone or Zoom. We are communicating this option for our partners and hope they will communicate it to their students. 

How did we get here?  Just over a week into working from home we are looking for ways to serve transfer students. Most initiatives that I have seen have gone to virtual advising, webinars, and phone appointments. Things changed quickly here at Wayne State and everywhere.  Thanks to Ranae Hamama, manager of the Transfer Student Success Center at Wayne State, prospective transfer advising is now available online.  New software, new process, No problem!   We are “changing on the fly” (hockey term, well we are in Michigan!).

Here is what we are doing:

  • Now Open!  Online Chat feature on the TSSC website.
  • In progress. Moving information sessions online.
  • Coming soon.  Weekly Webinars with transfer professionals
  • Virtual Student Appointments with TSSC staff
  • In progress. Partner School specific online days to meet with students. “Macomb Mondays!”
  • Current Wayne State Students can continue to use advisingworks. An online option is there to meet with students.
  • Follow me on the Transfer Student Blog

To say this is a unique situation is an understatement.  When things get normal again, I think we are going to see some ideas here that have longevity  This experience will make you stronger of a person, professional, and as a student.  Don’t forget, we are here to help.  You cannot come to our office right now, but we are quickly adjusting to something we have never seen before. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay home! 

I want to transfer to WSU for pre-med…what should I do?

by Amanda Horwitz, M.Ed., Academic Advisor, Pre-Med and Health Science Center

Wayne State University is a popular destination for undergraduate students who want to eventually become doctors.  As it should be; the university offers a plethora of connections to opportunities in research, the surrounding community AND a stellar pre-med advising office that offers comprehensive and correct academic advising for students who want to be well-rounded, competitive medical school applicants (toot, toot).

If you are a transfer student and are thinking about attending WSU to earn your undergraduate degree and/or prepare to apply to medical school, the Pre-Med and Health Science Center suggests the following ‘first steps’:

  1. Get to WSU sooner rather than later.  Most medical schools across the country will say they like to see a majority of science coursework at a four-year institution.  While we know community college courses are more affordable than university tuition, our advisors can help you develop a plan that allows you to take advantage of your summers at a community college to save time and money. 
  2. Pick a major because pre-med isn’t one.  You’ll want to schedule an advising appointment with a department advisor to discuss your transfer credit, how it applies to your chosen degree and your overall graduation timeline before meeting a pre-med advisor.
  3. Attend a Pre-Med Information Session.  Our office offers sessions all year long.  These sessions will review the four major application components and answer all of your BIG pre-med questions.  As a result of attending, you’ll also receive the bi-weekly Warrior Pre-Health Pulse (electronic) newsletter packed with various on and off campus opportunities that all pre-med students want to know about once you’re an admitted student.
  4. Go to transfer orientation.  Yes, I said it.  Not every higher education institution operates the same so it’s an important step in being a successful student at WSU.  Plus, you get a free lunch.

If you have more questions, please visit the Pre-Med and Health Science Center website to read about suggestions for transfer students and find upcoming information session dates and times.

Transfer 101

by Doug Peacock – Academic Services Officer II at Wayne State University

Working with transfer students I get a lot of common questions.  I enjoy the common questions because it means you are coming to the source over getting advice from another transfer student.  Ask lots of questions!  In this blog I will address some of the more common questions transfer students have.

I already applied when I was in high school. Do I have to apply again?  Yes.  Since you did not enroll, a new application is required.  If you have been attending another school, you will have to submit your transcripts from that school.  You are now considered a transfer student.  Admissions and scholarship requirements are going to be different. 

When should I apply? Although every school is different, most schools the application will open one year in advance.  Go to that schools application website to see if the term you want has an open application.  It does not hurt to apply now and send transcripts at a later date. Keep in mind deadlines.

Do I have to send all of my transcripts? Yes!! You will need send official transcripts from any college or university you have attended. Even if you had courses transferred before.   You cannot hand deliver transcripts. Most of it can be done online. No one can do it for you.

What if I still do not know what to major in?  Depending on how you transferred there may be some wiggle room on taking courses that go into multiple areas.  If you major in something then change. Consider moving the courses from your former major into your minor or a major that has some electives.  

You will want to get started ASAP. after your first semester or two you might be losing credits if you are just taking courses but not sure what to major in. Go to Info Sessions at a 4-year school while you are at your 2-year school.  Usually these are posted on events pages. 

Will a C- transfer?  No. “C’s” or above. There are a few schools out there that will accept a “D” grade.  Usually your two-year advisor will know which schools these are. 

How do I move my financial aid to my next school? Change your school of choice on your FAFSA to the school you are going to next.  The four-year school will not award any financial aid unless you are admitted to that school. So, start the application process as soon as possible.

Can I get financial aid at two schools at the same time? No.  You can only receive financial aid at one school per semester.  Wayne State has one program with Macomb Community College that will allow you to split your financial aid. See my blog from May 1 2019.  These programs are pretty rare.

How do I register for courses at my next school? Meet with an advisor and Attend Transfer Orientation. The new school will have a new process for meeting with an advisor.  Wayne State uses appointment setting software called advisingworks. You have to be admitted to register and usually meet with an advisor. Your new advisor will need to see how your classes transferred in.  After you are admitted, you will want to schedule an appointment ASAP and see when you can register for courses.

I still have a couple classes to do. Do not take a semester part time just to finish up at a community college. It may be better to start full time at your four-year school and go back on a guest pass in the summer.

What is an articulation agreement? Articulation agreements are a signed off agreement between a two year school and four year school. This goes beyond just the transfer of courses.  The four-year school may be accepting more credits beyond the associates degree. Usually, to do an articulation agreement you have to get an associate’s degree at the two-year school.  Articulations are only on specific programs.  Most schools have a few of them.  Business, Criminal Justice, and Engineering Technology are some more popular ones. See if your school has one. You may be able to take more credits at the community college.

What is residency?  Residency is the minimum amount of credits you have to take at your school to get a degree. Most schools it’s 30. Some, it’s 40.  Wayne State it is 30.  This is definitely a question I ask right away especially if I am transferring from a four-year school.  For example, you could transfer in 200 credits from multiple 4-year schools and that finishes all requirements (extremely rare).  You will still have to complete 30 credits to get a degree from there.

Final Thoughts. These are some easy transfer questions.  They get a lot harder from here.  Do not use the term “No one told me.” It is up to you to know the policies of the school you transferring to.  Ask someone. But, ask the right person. Do not ask your advisor questions about your financial aid.  Get to the source/professional. 

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