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. 

The Winter Transfer Student

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

Welcome back! Some call it spring, some call it winter. Whatever your season.  Most Universities will accept transfers after fall.  I wanted to go over a few last items as you prepare for your winter transfer.  Here are some quick tips.

  • Make sure you are checking your new school Email. Advisors and staff are reaching out to you.
  • If you are using financial aid. Make sure to make your new school as your school of choice.
  • Send your final transcripts. You sent them once to get admitted. Now we need the final grades from your last term. Also, if you are getting the MTA (Michigan Transfer Agreement) you MUST request it to be designated on your transcripts.
  • Are you bringing in the MTA later?  That is OK. Make sure to inform your advisor of this.  You will want to skip general education at Wayne.
  • Summer term might be an option to take more community college classes as a guest student. Most students do not transfer in with the maximum amount of transfer credits.  You may be able to take a few more. 
  • Start thinking about fall.  Now that you are a student here. You will want to take advantage of being a current student. Know, what classes you can take in the fall. Know when you can register.

Finally, breathe. Get to know campus. Find groups. Meet people! Have fun! Find some stuff that will balance your school work and help you network. It is still OK to change your major. These groups may open your eyes to some other majors. Here is a list of Wayne’s groups.

https://getinvolved.wayne.edu/organizations?branches=195268

What delivery Method is important to you?

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

Like a pizza, college can be delivered in many different ways. Traditional, cohort, online, extension centers, accelerated, university centers, and hybrids (my favorite). Am I missing any? The expanded formats can be good options for some to complete their degree after transferring. Here is what you should know about college delivery methods:

Does my college offer the program I want in the format I want? You may have been admitted to your traditional school. But, if are you working full time or have other responsibilities. Is it reasonable to think you can manage a traditional format and additional responsibilities (drive time, day classes, group meetings, etc). Will this format work with everything else you have going on? Is there another format that another school offers that will work better for you? Often the answer is “YES.” But, you may need to be flexible on where you get your degree from. As always, do your research, ask for help.

How long will this format take me to graduate vs. a traditional method?  Some programs promote that a degree can be done completely in this format or location. As a transfer student, you will want to see how your transfer credits are being applied, what you have to take and how long it will to take them at that location. I would want to see when each course I need is offered at that location. Also, keep an eye on enrollment in those courses. If they have low enrollment in that course they may cancel the course and offer it online or a different more popular location. You may end up driving!

Can I combine formats? Most schools this is OK. If you can finish the program by switching formats. This is a question you will want answered up front. For example. You need a class to graduate. That course is not offered for another 2 semesters at that location. But, main campus is offering it now.

Is this format worth the increased cost? You may be paying more for this format. For example you want this degree but you work full time and have to go online. So, you decide to go to an online school. What will the cost difference be? It could be a lot. In another blog I will talk about the difference between online schools and schools that offer online classes. I can’t wait!

Recommendation: Ask your community college advisor about for their recommendation for where your classes will transfer and how it is delivered at your next school. Do your research. Just because you see an extension center right by your house does not mean that your program is being taught there. Most science courses are offered where the labs are. Which is usually at the main campus. Same with general education courses. The schools website should list what degrees are offered and at what location.

I already know this stuff – do I have to go to Orientation?

by Kathryn Rawlings – Associate Director New Student Orientation – Wayne State University

Congratulations on your admission to Wayne State University! Next stop? Orientation!

The most common question (and sometimes statement) I hear from incoming transfer students is “Do I have to go to Orientation? What happens if I don’t?”

Answer part 1: Yes you do.

Answer part 2: Your face falls off.

Just kidding about part 2. Your face won’t actually fall off if you don’t attend an orientation session. But you will miss out on a lot of information. Information that

We designed the program with you in mind. We KNOW you’ve already attended some college or university in your lifetime. We KNOW you know things like the importance of your student ID and that you should be checking that Wayne State email account at least once or twice a week before you start classes.

But, did you know that our transfer students come in with an average of 56 transferable credit hours?

With that information alone, we created a career block during the Orientation program. You can already see the light at the end of the tunnel so you need to get plugged in to our career offices and support programs for those of you considering one of our professional programs.

The first-year students don’t get that piece at Orientation.

You also know that there are resources on campus to support your transition and success here. We just want you to know what they’re called here at WSU so you can quickly access them.

Transferring from Macomb? You may have worked with the Special Services office there. At Wayne State, you should work with the Student Disability Services office.

Transferring from Washtenaw Community College? You may have worked with the Career Transitions office there. At Wayne State, you could work with Career Services, Career Planning and Placement or Engineering Career Services. OR you could work with our Pre-med and Health Center.

Transferring from any institution? You’ll have to access our parking and transportation in a different way.

Finally, we see that our transfer students want to make new friends and connect with other students. Are you going to do a cheesy icebreaker? Probably not. But we do want you to meet other incoming students who may also be in your classes. Just so you know you’re not alone – in fact, more than 1,700 transfer students attended orientation during the 2019 academic year.

So do yourself a favor and invest a few hours on one day to learn more about the university where you’ll be spending lots of time and money (we’ve got a Starbucks, afterall). Our Orientation Leaders will be there and are current students who can answer loads of questions about Wayne State – the resources, the culture and, of course, the food!

Reserve your spot online at wayne.edu/orientation. I’ll see you on campus soon!

Katie Rawlings is the Associate Director of New Student Orientation at Wayne State University

First Semester. First Year. Now what?

So, you decided to start at a community college. I am currently meeting with a lot of students that are in their first semester at a community college and want to get an early start on transfer planning.  Here are some tips you should know when in your first semester at a community college. I was going to make this a quick read. But, I have been meeting with so many transfer students that graduated from high school last spring I ended up with a lot more than I anticipated.  Enjoy the blog!

Am I taking the right courses?  There is very little you can be doing wrong right now as far as transferring your courses in first semester.  Keep it simple your first year.  General Education and pre-requisites are fine. 

I tested poorly and have to do some pre-requisites. You may have had to take some pre-requisites. This is no problem. It may put you back a little when you graduate. The important item is to be in the correct classes to get you into the classes you need.  

Do I need to decide on my transfer school right now?  No. I get students that want to transfer early. I am not a big fan of this.  The transfer process can usually give you at least 1-2 years of transfer credits. Some students want to transfer for winter semester with only 1 semester complete at their 2-year school.   This is far too early.   This is going to depend on what you major in. Secondary Admissions (Nursing, Pre-Med, Pre-Health) might want you to transfer early.

When should I apply to my 4-year school?  The application will usually open up about a year prior to you starting classes.  MAKE SURE TO APPLY TO THE YEAR YOU PLAN TO ATTEND YOUR FIRST CLASS AT YOUR NEXT SCHOOL.

Meet with your 2-year advisors.  Finally. Continue to meet with your 2-year school advisor and check in at the 4-year school.  Understand the Transfer Guide you are following.  Your advisor will do their best to get you where you want to go!

College Search Round 2?  It is not too late to do a college search, so if you want to start to visit some of your schools now is a great to at a second chance at this!  You will find you are not the only transfer student on tour.  Don’t let the letter jackets in attendance make you feel you are too old! You are right where you want to be.

We want your Transfer Students!

I spend a lot of time thinking “What is attractive to a transfer student?” Why does a transfer student choose one institution over another? Transfer students have already made one smart decision by starting at a community college. And, make no mistake. Colleges still want you! Do you ever see a college representative sitting at a table in your cafeteria or hallway. That means they want to speak to you. Table visits are still the biggest way schools start the connection process with community college students. So stop by! But what is next? Transfer Open House, Coffee and Credits, Transfer Advisors visiting your campus, Transfer Tuesday (seems every school does this) ,or lots of phone calls gearing you to enroll. Everything is done to gear you to get started at that 4-year school. What is important to you to get started? Come up with this idea and you will be a fantastic leader in higher ed?

What did I want? Since every transfer student is different and come in so many different ways. I thought I would share my experience transferring. I never visited the school I attended. I never had them evaluate my credits. I just liked the name. Never met an advisor. There is no amount of info sessions or reaching out that school could do to get me to start. I was focused on college classes. We often forget that transfer students are already in college level courses. Some work. So, doing all that extra stuff isn’t always possible. I’ve jotted down what was important to me:

  • I wanted to be admitted directly to the business program. I remember being angry when I was admitted and I was put as Undeclared.
  • I did not want to take anything but business courses. Did not happen.
  • Price. A lot of my decision was based on the bottom line. I’m the kind of person that will go to the school because they waived the app. fee.
  • I wanted to get away. But, not too far away. I think of other schools that try and recruit transfer students from a much longer distance.
  • I figured I would really figure the rest out when I got there! Which I did and you will too!


University Specific Gen-Eds

It’s back to school time for Transfer Students! Some fall ’19 students are still considering starting at a 2-year or a 4-year. This next blog will be good for you if you are still deciding.

I haven’t posted in a while so I wanted to do a quick one on what happens with University Specific Gen-Eds. Remember when you start at a University, you are going to do that schools general education. If you decide to transfer to another school you will be going into that schools general education. Which will be different than your current school. This difference can be course related and group related. For example: Wayne State offers a course called “Detroit by the numbers” This will fulfill the Math requirement for Gen-Eds at Wayne. If you took that class and decided to transfer to most other schools. It would be unlikely that another school will have a class like that.

The group difference is that you are taking the courses to fulfill the gen-ed group at your school. Another school will have a different group. The courses to fulfill gen-eds varies from each school, although there usually some overlap.

I try to do these blogs based on a lot of the conversations that I am currently having with students. University Specific Gen-Eds is something most students figure out the hard way. If you are thinking of transferring, it is usually best to start at a community college. The courses there are more generally accepted at other schools.

My next blog will be looking at the Fall 2020 students. Let’s get planning!

The 4-Year to 4-year Transfer Student

For many reasons students decide to transfer from a four-year school to another four-year school. This can happen at any point and for any reason. It’s actually easier that many think, but does require some careful thought and planning. The largest issue that arises between transferring four-year schools is that you are trying to transfer one set curriculum to another schools curriculum. If you are staying in the same major, a major at one school will look different than another schools program. Here is some guidance on what to do if you are thinking of applying to a different four-year school.

1-Prior to starting at your original school. Ask yourself if this is the place I want to be for the next 4 years? Is this the right fit for me? Do your research take the tours. Meet people prior to enrolling.

2-Consider doing a semester at a four-year school. There is nothing wrong with going back to a 2-year school for a semester or more. This can be help with costs and may open you up to scholarship eligibility at your next school. Very little scholarship money is given to four-year transfers. Moving from one 4-year to another can put a lot of stress on your cost and loans.

2A) Consider doing a semester at a four-year school. Each four-year school has different general education. Transfer back to the four-year school for the MTA. The MTA can “equalize” general education. Transfer your four-year credits to a four-year school. Finish up the MTA and look at possible transfer plans. I strongly recommend this option. Especially for the MTA.

3) Make sure that this is what you really want to do. Make sure you are doing this for the right reasons. Is this decision progressing you toward your educational goals? Make sure you finish out at your school and maybe you can make the decision later.

4) Could your college change be satisfied when you go to grad school? If you are just desiring a change. Remember the graduate school option. You can still get a great experience through graduate school.

So long MACRAO!

The original MACRAO transfer agreement is prepared to sunset this month. Replaced by The Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) in 2014. These two worked as simultaneous transfer options until now. Thankfully, now we only one transfer agreement, I have some final thoughts on MACRAO vs. MTA.

First off. MACRAO was good. Some students could get by with MACRAO without taking a math. Big selling point to some. You now have to take two sciences and a math. With MACRAO, you could get by with eight credits of Science. The biggest problem with MACRAO was it’s name. No one knew what MACRAO was. What is MACRAO? It is the Michigan Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers? Now deemed the MTA is is much more clear to students on what it is. FYI, MACRAO the group is still alive in well. I will be attending the MACRAO summer summit in June. Besides the name, the biggest problem with the MTA was that 4-year schools were not accepting it as it should and covering general education courses. Schools were doing part of their gen-eds or certain sections of the gen-eds. MTA is more streamline. It is easier to follow. It is good! It will continue to help many students just like MACRAO did.

I will discuss more about MTA in upcoming posts. Especially when I speak about 4-year transfers.

https://www.macrao.org/Publications/MTA.asp

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