Transfer Program

The Louis Stokes North Star STEM Alliance (LS-NSSA) supports the thriving of underrepresented students at their current and prospective institutions through our advocacy and support for students’ professional development, research and career experiences, peer-to-peer mentorship opportunities, and graduate school endeavors.

We validate students’ experiences and recognize that the process of transferring itself is arduous and can be both positive and negative. In addition, we also recognize that labels, self- or other-assigned, can have lasting impacts. For that reason, we endorse two shifts in how we describe and serve our students. First, instead of labeling students as underrepresented, we shift to the use of culturally rich (Yosso, 2005). Second, rather than labeling students as transfer students, we shift to describe students as those who have or plan to transfer.

In doing so, we hope to create a meaningful, student-centered transfer program that supports culturally rich students’ success. Through our efforts toward developing programming that functions as an accessible pipeline to industry and graduate school, we hope to contribute to the creation of a community of STEM scholars. Our goals, especially for our students who have or plan to transfer, is to emphasize that they belong.

Our conceptual and theoretical frameworks can be found here:

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Brief Review of Transfer Literature

College students experience a variety of life transitions as they move from high school to college (Hollander, 2017). The college experience in the United States is, for many, a time to explore one's identity and purpose as an emerging adult (Arnett, 2015; Arnett, 2016). For many students who transfer, however, the transitions from high school to college, and then to another institution, is traumatic. In fact, the literature around students who transfer often refer to this phenomenon as “transfer shock” (Bennet & Okinaka, 1990; Scott et al., 2017; Thomas et al., 2021).

Transfer-process advocates have called for more institutional support for students who transfer to assist in facilitating higher levels of sense of belonging, higher GPA, and increased retention/persistence (Ishitani & McKitrick, 2010; Deil-Amen, 2011). More institutional support in higher education is critical, especially as transferring has become a more common experience for college students (Simone, 2014; Zilviniskis & Dumford, 2018). 

On the one hand, researchers have emphasized the importance of academic fit and engagement in the classroom as indicators for the success of students who transfer (Adelman, 2006; D’Amico et al., 2014). On the other hand, other researchers have argued for mentoring or community building as the best high-impact practices for student success (Chamely-Wiik et al., 2021). Although there is increased interest toward supporting students who transfer, students who transfer nowadays continue to still (1) experience feelings of loneliness and isolation, (2) have weak social support systems, and (3) receive less opportunities for engagement in addition to extant institutional barriers that the general student population also face (Ishitani & McKitrick, 2010; Jacobson et al., 2017). For example, STEM students who transfer, who also identify as underrepresented/culturally rich, experience additional traumas, such as racism, bias, access, and stereotyping, on top of the common feelings of transfer shock (Acevedo et al., 2021).

The literature therefore highlights great improvement in support for students who transfer. However, it is evident that much more needs to be done to ensure that our students who transfer are thriving in college and are successful after college.


Adelman, C. (2006). The toolbox revisited: Paths to degree completion from high school through college. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. 

Arnett, J.J. (2015). Emerging adulthood: The winding road from the late teens through the twenties (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Arnett, J.J. (2016). College students as emerging adults: The developmental implications of the college context. Emerging Adulthood, 4(3), 219-222. 

Acevedo, N., Nunez-Rivera, S., Casas, Y., Cruz, E., & Rivera, P. (2021). Enacting spiritual activism to develop a sense of belonging: Latina community college students choosing and persisting in STEM. Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education, 14(1), 59-78.

Bennet, C., & Okinaka, A.M. (1990). Factors related to persistence among Asian, Black, Hispanic, and White undergraduates at a predominantly White university: Comparison between first and fourth year cohorts. The Urban Review, 22(1), 33-60.

Chamely-Wiik, D., Frazier, E., Meeroff, D., Merritt, J., Johnson, J., Kwocha, W.R., Morrison-Shetlar, A.I., Aldarondo-Jeffries, M., & Schneider, K.R. (2021). Undergraduate research communities for transfer students: A retention model based on factors that most influence student success. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 21(1), 193-224.

D’Amico, M.M., Dika, S.L., Elling, T.W., Algozzine, G., & Ginn, D.J. (2014). Early integration and other outcomes for community transfer students. Research in Higher Education, 55(4), 370-399.

Deil-Amen, R. (2011). Socio-academic integrative moments: Rethinking academic and social integration among two-year college students in career-related programs. Journal of Higher Education, 82(1), 54-91. 

Hollander, P.W. (2017). Readiness realities: Struggles and successes during the transition to college. Brill.

Ishitani, T.T., & McKitrick, S.A. (2010). After transfer: The engagement of community college students at a four-year collegiate institution. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 34(7), 576-594.

Jacobson, T., Delano, J., Krzykowski, L., Garafola, L., Nyman, M., & Barker-Flynn, H. (2017). Transfer student analysis and retention: A collaborative endeavor. Reference Services Review, 45(3), 421-439. 

Scott, T.P., Thigpin, S.S., & Bentz, A.O. (2017). Transfer learning community: Overcoming transfer shock and increasing retention of mathematics and science majors. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 19(3), 300-316.

Simone, S.A. (2014). Transferability of postsecondary credit following student transfer or coenrollment (NCES 2014-163). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. Available from

Thomas, D.T., Walsh, E.T., Torr, B.M., Alvarez, A.S., & Malagon, M.C. (2021). Incorporating High-Impact Practices for Retention: A learning community model for transfer students. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 23(2), 243-263.

Brief Review of Guiding Framework

One way to engage undergraduate students, whether they are students who transfer, is through undergraduate research (Chamely-Wiik et al., 2021). Undergraduate research experiences are considered a high-impact practice (HIP) because they are often accompanied by a myriad of positive student outcomes, including increased sense of belonging self-efficacy (Nerio et al., 2019). As such, undergraduate research experiences have been a subject of study in higher education by many researchers. We primarily considered Kuh’s (2008) work on high-impact practices, which incorporates many HIP activities geared towards helping students who transfer to succeed and persist. We also drew upon Tinto’s (1993) work on persistence to inform our evaluation of students’ sense of belonging and ultimately the effectiveness of the activities that students who transfer participate in as it relates to student success.


Chamely-Wiik, D., Frazier, E., Meeroff, D., Merritt, J., Johnson, J., Kwocha, W.R., Morrison-Shetlar, A.I., Aldarondo-Jeffries, M., & Schneider, K.R. (2021). Undergraduate research communities for transfer students: A retention model based on factors that most influence student success. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 21(1), 193-224.

Kuh, G.D. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Nerio, R., Webber, A., Maclachlan, E., Lopatto, D., and Caplan, A.J. (2019). One-year research experience for Associate’s degree students impacts graduation, STEM retention, and transfer patterns. CBE Life Sciences Education, 18(2), Ar25.

Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition (2nd ed.). University of Chicago Press.

Community Cultural Wealth Model

Community cultural wealth: an array of cultural knowledges, skills, abilities, and networks possessed and utilized by Communities of Color to survive and resist racism and other forms of subordination (Yosso, 2006). Yosso identifies at least six overlapping, interdependent, forms of capital like the multifaceted view created by a kaleidoscope:

  • Aspirational capital refers to the ability to maintain hopes and dreams for the future, even in the face of real and perceived barriers.
    • STEM Transfer context: The ability and capacity to pursue a 2-year and 4-year degree to completion. The motivation to thrive and succeed in STEM while navigating financial and institutional barriers and familial and cultural responsibilities.
  • Linguistic capital includes the intellectual and social skills attained through communication in multiple languages and/or language styles (including communication through art, music, poetry, theatre, and dance).
    • STEM Transfer context: The ability and capacity to translate and communicate one’s science to different individuals, such as peers, teachers, and community members. The skills to leverage cultural knowledge and practices to inform future scientific practices.
  • Social capital can be understood as networks of people and community resources.
    • STEM Transfer context: The understanding and compassion for others across different social contexts, such as 2-year and 4-year institutions. The ability to empathize and bridge campus-community to create a supportive community of STEM scholars that is inclusive to all.
  • Navigational capital refers to skills in maneuvering through social institutions. Historically, this implies the ability to maneuver through institutions not created with Communities of Color in mind.
    • STEM Transfer context: The perseverance to succeed and thrive despite multiple institutional barriers, especially in STEM-courses (e.g., hidden curriculum). The self-preservation skills learned to prioritize oneself from one institution to the next – and the independence that is subsequently achieved. The intrinsic motivation, mindset, and know-how to identify facilitators to success, research resources, and financial supports along the transfer process that is often not made apparent to underserved students.
  • Familial capital refers to those cultural knowledges nurtured among familia (kin) that carry a sense of community history, memory, and cultural intuition.
    • STEM Transfer context: The desire and action to support others going through the same journey; to leave things better when you leave it than when you arrived. The motivation to give back and guide future generations, and in doing so, empowering one’s own communities.
  • Resistant capital refers to those knowledges and skills fostered through oppositional behavior that challenge inequality.
    • STEM Transfer context: The recognition of different privileges and marginalities to not only give voice to others within similar cultural backgrounds, but to also give voice to others who are underserved at each institution or organization. The desire and action to join with others create an inclusive space no matter the institution or organization – especially if such space and inclusive climate is absent. 

Each of the forms of capital within the kaleidoscope, and their multifaceted dimensions builds on an extensive body of critical social science research that has consistently reframed culture as a resource for Communities of Color, rather than as a detriment. Listening and learning about strengths that the kaleidoscope can help us document how these knowledges have been preserved and passed down – often in difficult circumstances including violence, threats, humiliations, and unjust laws

These resources were provided by Dr. Tara Yosso ( The STEM Transfer context was written by Tai Do.

Tara J. Yosso is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California Riverside. Her research and teaching apply the frameworks of critical race theory and critical media literacy to examine educational access and equity, emphasizing the community cultural wealth Students of Color bring to school. 

Background to Dr. Yosso’s Research

Academic institutions facilitate the flow of knowledge, skills, and students along the U.S. educational pipeline. Historically, at every schooling level however, Chicanas/os suffer the lowest educational attainment of any other major racial or ethnic group. Nationally, of every 100 Chicana/o elementary school students, only 26 will pursue college. Of the 17 who begin their higher education journey at a community college, only one transfers to a 4-year university. Understanding the contexts and conditions shaping these outcomes, we work to shift our research lens away from deficit explanations that blame students and their communities, to focus on the structures, practices, and discourses that restrict equal educational access and opportunities.

Hidden Curriculum

The Hidden Curriculum refers to the unspoken expectations of navigating higher education that are not explicitly communicated to students. The Hidden Curriculum can affect students’, and in particular students from underrepresented and underserved backgrounds, academic performance, learning, and relationships with others.

Key Literature Definitions

  • Educational experiences that are offered differentially to students from different backgrounds (Anyon, 1980)
    • Relevant knowledge, skills, and predispositions transmitted differentially in classroom settings.
    • Differing curricular, pedagogical, and evaluation practices, which emphasizes different cognitive and behavioral skills.
  • Unstated norms, values, and beliefs that are transmitted to students through formal content and the social relations encountered in school and classroom life. (Giroux & Penna, 1979).
    • A phenomenon that undermines the goal of [social] education.
    • That shapes and influence practically every aspect of the students’ educational experiences.
    • Ways in which individuals are influenced by power.
    • Evaluation of students and the evaluation students make
  • Norms and values that are implicitly but effectively taught. These norms and statements are not included in explicit teacher statements or goals. (Apple, 1971).
    • Unspoken expectations and assumptions that establishes the boundaries of legitimacy, especially when internalized by students.
  • Assumptions, beliefs, values, or attitudes that manifests implicitly and inadvertently in schooling, learning, and professional environments (Villanueva et al., 2018).
    • Attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors that are conveyed without aware intent.
    • Implicit messages in learning, teaching, and professional spaces.
    • Hidden lessons that are continually conveyed over time
    • Hidden curriculum impacts academic performance – retention.
    • Hidden curriculum impacts well-being.
    • Behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes that are imparted to students unintentionally or unrecognized by educator
  • Hidden curriculum is different from formal, null, and informal curriculums. (Villanueva, 2018)
    • Unwritten, unofficial, and often unintended lessons, values, and perspectives that may not be noticeable by participants or may be too difficult to share.
    • The cultural and societal influence that permeates education, and in particular STEM education.
    • Lack of culturally responsive curricular content may limit students’ understanding of post-graduation and future professional endeavors.
    • The hidden curriculum impacts students’ social capital, which may further introduce challenges to navigating higher education and post-graduation careers.

Solution (Giroux & Penna, 1979)

  • Identify organization structures and political assumptions upon which it rests.
  • Give students awareness of the hidden curriculum and how it differs from the formal curriculum.
  • Encourage students to evaluate learning experiences with respect to its connections with the social-economic world.
  • Develop awareness of the hidden curriculum that is nurtured in shared task implemented with group solidarity that is also marked by reciprocity and communality (belonging).
  • Creating a community of [STEM] scholars

​​​​​​​Anyon, J. (1980). Social class and the hidden curriculum of work. Journal of Education, 67-92.

Apple, M. W. (1971). The hidden curriculum and the nature of conflict. Interchange, 2, 27-40.

Giroux, H. A., & Penna, A. N. (1979). Social education in the classroom: The dynamics of the hidden curriculum. Theory & Research in Social Education, 7, 21-42.

Villanueva, I. (2018, June). What does hidden curriculum in engineering look like and how can it be explored? Proceedings of the American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, Minorities in Engineering Division. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Villanueva, I., Carothers, T., Di Stefano, M., Khan, M., & Hasan, T. (2018). “There is never a break”: The hidden curriculum of professionalization for engineering faculty. Education Sciences, 8, 157-178.

Transfer Shock (Students)

Definition: A change in academic performance and psychosocial well-being due to transferring from one institution to another. The transfer and transitional process reflects environmental (external) changes, good and bad, that may elicit stressors that can subsequently affect what a student knows and can do.

We know that transferring from a 2-year college to a 4-year institution can be challenging. A new academic environment, different expectations from faculty, and navigating upper division courses adds to the stress. It takes precious time to find the right person or resource to resolve an issue or answer questions. This guide will help you identify potential issues and direct you to the right resources early in the transfer process.

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Academic Success in the Classroom

Maximize your classroom experience – Some institutions will have very large classes, some small. It is important to know which setting fits you best as a student. Even in small schools, you may experience some large lecture halls. If you find yourself in a large crowd, it is very important to attend every class and make the most of your time there.

Advice to consider:

  • Sit where you can see and hear everything the faculty/lecturer says.
  • Take careful notes to reference when studying or speaking with the professor after class.
  • Introduce yourself to the professor early in the term (note when they have office hours).
  • Find out where their office is located, or the location of study groups for the course.
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions (make sure to use your homework or course reading as supporting topics).
  • Go to office hours. Faculty and teaching assistants are there to support you.

Grading Systems

Grading systems vary from course to course – Every professor will grade differently. Read the syllabus carefully to understand the weight of different assignments and/or exams. The syllabus will outline exactly the professor’s expectations for assignments and class participation. If you have questions, ask.

Advice to consider:

  • Some courses will grade on a combination of components whereas others may rely on a midterm and final.
    • Some courses will report percentages, whereas others may report points. Make sure you ask so that you clearly understand how you are being graded.
  • It is rare to have extra credit assignments in upper division courses.
  • Most professors will not remind you to do homework or hand in assignments. It is on you to manage them. For this reason, you receive what you put in.
  • Grading systems vary by professor (for example, a 40% in one class is an F, but may be a B in another course).
    • Some courses will have grading curves that may change before, during, or after the semester. Make sure you ask and check-in with your instructor often.
  • If the syllabus is not clear, make sure you ask about:
    • how much homework, attendance, class participation, or an exam score contributes to your final course grade.
  • If you fail a test, talk to your professor or teaching assistant (TA) on core concepts or strategies to improve your grade.
  • Find out ahead of time how a professor handles a late and/or missing assignment, class, or exam.
  • If you are going to miss class notify the professor before class by email.
  • Missing class is a last resort option (oversleeping or work conflicts are not an excuse).
  • Most importantly, stay in communication with your professor or teaching assistant. They can only offer support when they are up to date on what you need.


Professors have greater expectations for student performance in upper division courses (e.g., 3xxx +) and/or advanced students (junior/senior status). These courses will require more study time, lab time, and longer rigorous assignments. Students are expected to be advanced in their writing skills and submit more detailed lab reports. Questions in class should reflect advanced learning beyond the class assignments.

Advice to consider:

Success Outside the Classroom

There are additional ways to further your academic success. In addition to tutors and talking directly with your professors, there are offices and practices that can provide that extra support you may need. Some are more casual in nature whereas other are formal services. The key to any success is knowing yourself and asking for additional help when needed. It is important not to panic when things go wrong. A poor grade is not a signal to change academic plans. It may be a signal to change study strategies. Determine what is the problem and you will have an easier time finding the right person or office to help with the solution. Know thyself and know that you have gifts, assets, and capital – and that you deserve to be there.

Advice to consider:

  • Plan on 2 hours of study time outside of class for every credit hour.
  • Seriously consider making school the priority for 2+ years. Everything else can come after career and financial stability.
  • Know which study environment works for you, such as the library, home, or coffee shops.
    • Be okay with changing your environment if you have to.
  • Be open to changing your habits if the previous ones no longer work.
  • Study smaller chunks of materials along the way.
    • Do not try to cram just before an exam.
  • Consider joining a student group or study group in your major for peer and academic support.
    • Check with departments for listings of study groups or tutors.
    • Meet with your new Louis Stokes North Star STEM Alliance coordinator for programs and support.
    • Check on professional organizations you can join to find colleagues in majors.
    • Take advantage of research librarians. Many specialize in specific majors.

Career Development (While in College)

Further develop your career while in college. Every college or university will have resources for students that go beyond the classroom experience. Participating in these opportunities can lead to graduate school acceptance and scholarships. Some of this work should be completed while at the community college, such as initial career exploration. Students benefit greatly by engaging in additional experiences, such as participating in professional organizations or seeking out internship opportunities. At the junior level, a student should be taking advantage of these opportunities within the major area.

Advice to consider:

  • Your professors are a key relationship for future planning. Be professional in all your emails and in personal interactions. Err on the side of formal when considering your tone. Some professors may specifically say how they want to be addressed, such as Dr. Jones.
  • Remember, professors are busy. Be respectful if you are following up if they have not previously responded to you (1-2 weeks). They can impact your future opportunities on campus as well as external opportunities since they be your recommendation-letter writers.
  • Know that some professors may not respond. That is okay. Consider seeking out others who will respond, including graduate students.
  • Explore the Louis Stokes North Star STEM Alliance opportunities
  • Connect with the undergraduate research office on campus or the department.
  • Find out the process for getting on a research team/lab or initiating your own project.
  • Plan on at least one research project during junior or senior year, both if possible.
    • Participate in Louis Stokes North Star STEM Alliance summer research opportunities.
  • Talk to your professor or TA about research opportunities.
    • If they cannot help you, they may know others who can.
  • Connect with the career office to establish an account for potential employers.
  • Attend career fairs, especially those for STEM majors, to connect with potential employers.
  • Attend workshops on interviewing, networking and resume/cover letters.
  • Attend alumni networking events held on campus.
  • Develop your networking circles.
    • Join professional organizations that are connected with your major.
    • Attend regional conferences in the STEM fields (departments or Louis Stokes North Star STEM Alliance may help with costs).

Beyond Academic Resources

Students can feel a new level of pressure at the 4-year institutions. It is important to reach out for assistance early. Take some time to think through what are the issues that are causing the stress and how can you find the resources to address that problem.

Advice to consider:

Balancing Life and School

Balancing life and school is a challenge. The best answers are unique to you. So, for advice, we offer more questions to consider than answers. But these are important pieces to think through to figure out even before your first day of class at the new institution.

The 60-hour rule: the total number of hours in an average week, should be no more than 60 hours, that includes work and school

  • (Academic work*) + (paying job) + (commute time) < 60 hours
  • *Includes time in class, lab, and study time

Commuting to school?

Living on campus?
Living on campus can have great advantages. It cuts out commuting time, allows access to labs and campus resources 24/7, and encourages friendships with other students. If a student is too distracted at home, living on campus can improve academics as well. Many schools will have the option of living with students within-and-or-outside of your major. Living with others is another way to foster life-lasting relationships.

Final Words of Advice

Your junior and senior year of college need to be a top priority in your life. It is your launching pad to a fulfilling career or graduate school. So, give this time your serious consideration. You may need to let family and friends know time is a limited resource and school must be a priority during these two years. However, if family and cultural obligations need to take precedent, know that it is okay to give yourself some grace with regard to academics.

Know yourself, ask for help when needed and take advantage of every opportunity your 4-year school has to offer. This is how one succeeds and moves on to the next big adventure.

Most importantly, communicate and reach out. You belong on this campus and there are people that are here to support you through your educational journey.

Transfer Shock for Faculty

Transferring from a community college to a baccalaureate institution presents many challenges to students.  A new academic and social environment, different expectations from faculty, and navigating upper division courses adds to the stress. Students frequently do not know where to look or whom to ask for help navigating and overcoming barriers.  Encouragement and support from faculty can make the difference for a student who has the talent and persistence but lacks the inside knowledge necessary to navigate a new institution quickly. 

Above all, give students the benefit of the doubt—they have already overcome long odds just to get to your classroom, chances are they are highly capable and resilient, or they would not have made it this far. 

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Guidance for classroom challenges:

  • Avoid calling them out publicly for being a student who transferred. They are trying to find their place in a new education setting, wanting to fit in as seamlessly as possible. They bring gifts and skills to your class, the same as any other first-year student.
  • Be aware that students transferring from community colleges (CC) may believe speaking up in class is disrespectful, attracts negative attention, or runs the risk of being criticized for not having the right answer.
  • They may not be aware of the academic rigors of upper division coursework. This does not mean they are unprepared, just that they need to recalibrate their own expectations.  Be explicit about expectations in terms of the quality and quantity of work. 
    • Do not hesitate to respectfully recommend your campus’ tutoring or writing programs if you think that’s what a student needs to be successful. Share examples of advanced lab reports or other required course materials.
  • Academically, they may never have been trained in scholarly research methods you take for granted—suggest resources (like the campus writing center or research librarians) to help them identify and eliminate that knowledge gap.
  • Because students who transfer may not have experienced a research-intensive environment, they may not be aware of undergraduate research opportunities, or the importance of undergraduate research to their intellectual and professional development.  If a student who transferred shows you a spark of scholarly creativity and curiosity, suggest that they seek out research opportunities, or offer such opportunities yourself.  Many students qualify for work-study awards. If you’re looking for a research assistant, it’s a great opportunity for you both. 
  • They might not understand the frequently unspoken rules of scholarly or professional communication. If their emails to you seem overly familiar or colloquial or even rude, it may be because nobody’s taught them that specific writing skill.  Share these links:
  • A high percentage of students will be commuter students or rely on public transportation.  They may be hesitant using that as an excuse, but if a student is late, consider that it might not be because they are irresponsible or lazy or do not care. Reasons such as the bus was delayed, or they had to get their own kids to school, are real transportation challenges beyond their control. 
  • Reaching out to new students who transferred and helping them connect to you or to the department early in their first term has a strong effect on belonging retention. The admission office can provide lists of new transfer students to individual departments at the start of the term.

Challenges Outside of the Classroom

  • The increased cost of tuition, books, and fees at 4-year colleges can be extremely stressful for transfer students. Share links to any financial resources on campus or for help in purchasing textbooks when possible. If you have department scholarship deadlines in the future, share broadly and frequently. Students who transfer will work toward that goal if given enough notice.
  • Research shows that community college students have surprisingly high rates of food and housing insecurity—students who do not have enough to eat or a safe, secure place to live will struggle even more to succeed academically. Consider including a ‘basic needs’ statement on your syllabi that will help such students feel less isolated and help them find necessary resources
  • Many students who transfer from CC have complicated lives that have prevented them from taking a more “traditional” academic route—such as needing part-time or full-time jobs, being primary caregiver to school-age children or aging parents, or being a necessary wage-earner for their extended families.  Be clear on absence policy, but aware that students can face extreme challenges with balancing school and life demands.

Coming to a new and intimidating campus in the middle of a college career, students who transfer from CC may feel extremely isolated, out of place, overmatched, underpowered or some combination of these things. This might be the first time anyone in their family has taken a university course. Consider introducing them to your strongest or most supportive or most savvy students or placing them together for collaborative assignments. Peer-to-peer connections are very powerful, especially when students transfer in as advanced students.

Building a collaborative structure early in their first term will help students feel welcome and bring their whole selves into your classroom. Some of your brightest and most eager students will turn out to be a student who transferred. You can make all the difference in their education experience.