Written by Scott Weinberger
Most Colorado College transfer students would agree that the decision to pick up and leave their former colleges was a difficult, but undoubtedly advantageous choice. Those in charge of managing us throughout the transitional process have unquestionably put in the effort to make our transfer experiences as simple and enjoyable as possible, and we are all thankful for the work they’ve done. Associate Dean Re Evitt initially reached out to all incoming transfers in May 2015 with a set of instructions describing how to initiate the advising and class registration processes so that we could come into CC with our advisors assigned and our schedules already partially set. Additionally, on a number of occasions, Assistant Registrar Candace Santa Maria channeled her inner-Clarence Odbody and aided many of us with whatever scheduling issues we’ve thrown her way. That said, even with the services that the school has provided for us, there have been times when it felt like the needs of transfer students took a backseat to other CC students, particularly the incoming freshmen class.
Take for example the many unplanned hours built into the transfer NSO schedule in which we were left unaccounted for and seemingly forgotten. Or perhaps when the transfers were awkwardly lumped in with the freshmen for what turned into a very strange class picture. On the whole CC has done an acceptable job giving the necessary attention and resources to its transfer students throughout this academic year. However, there are surely areas in which the school can improve. Looking only at the near future, it appears that the best way to address these areas is by moving forward with the creation of a transfer mentoring program.
Ruthie Rabinovitch and Will Harlow, two transfers from previous years, have proposed the idea for such a program because they believe it would have benefited them during their first few blocks at CC. Rabinovitch explains that “currently, it is up to students to go out and seek this kind of support on their own. I believe that with everything that is already on a transfer’s plate when they first arrive here, if we can do something to ease the transition, why not set it up?” This sentiment is one that’s shared by many current transfers at CC, myself included, because time and time again, we feel that the school can change a number of aspects of transferring to ease the experience.
The goals for their program are to provide incoming transfers with another outlet of inquiry aside from those shared with a CC advisor or staffer. While these members of the CC community provide valuable guidance that our peers simply aren’t able to offer up, there are certain questions that can only be answered by students who have undergone similar transitional processes. The act of transferring combines certain pressures from freshman year, which include, getting accustomed to a new living environment, meeting new friends, and, in CC’s case, learning how to thrive in an entirely foreign academic system, with the constraints of post-freshman year life, such as only having three, or in some cases just two or one, years to figure all these things out.
Though it’s a clichéd argument here at CC, certain transfers feel that with a $60,000 price tag on tuition, it is the college’s obligation to create an on-campus atmosphere that gives every student, regardless of circumstance, the best possible shot at immediate success. While no transfer wants to be treated like a freshman, most would agree that we’d benefit from the same amount of resources and opportunities that the typical freshman is given.
To step back from the CC bubble, I understand I’m only familiar with one transfer process, and for all I know CC might be miles ahead of other institutions in their treatment of transfer students. That being said, it is my genuine belief that our school can take simple steps to improve the lives of its transfer students and I’d like those responsible for us transfers to know that the CC Transfer Mentoring Program certainly has one applicant in me.