In December I attended the Academic Impressions conference in New Orleans on transfer student retention. I was excited to get to New Orleans and meet some people with similar roles as I. During the conference I picked up that most schools face similar challenges as far as recruitment and retention of transfer student. Community Colleges are going through mega enrollment changes and this is affecting most four-year colleges. I felt good that many of the ideas that other schools were trying and considering were already being used at Wayne State. For example joining a University Center and the support initiatives that are transfer specific.
What I did pick up is that schools are more than ever trying to engage transfer students after they have arrived at their schools. Whereas in the past most engagement is in the terms leading up to enrollment. Ideas like learning communities, specific clubs and offices for transfer students are trending at schools that have the resources to manage them.
The program I coordinate is the Wayne Advantage-Macomb program. This is a dual enrollment program with Macomb Community College. I will blog more about it in my next post. I wanted to get an idea of other schools that were doing something like this. Prior to my trip I researched schools in Louisiana that had a similar program. No success. Unfortunately I left New Orleans with no new ideas on better coordinating a consortium program. I even brought it up to a VP or Enrollment at another school and they said “Their school would never go for something like that.” Fortunately I do know that Wayne State is on the cutting edge of most transfer student initiatives. Warriors truly are transfer friendly!