University of Iowa Working to Better Support Transfer Students
By Forrest Saunders, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa - For years, the University of Iowa has used a slew of programs to help new freshmen settle into their first year of school. Now, educators want to do the same for their transfer students.
Iowa officials said transfers can have trouble. Their data shows the dropout rates for transfer students are higher than that of traditional first years.
Morgan Miller came to the UI from the University of Nebraska Omaha. She said it was an intimidating experience.
“Coming to a bigger school was definitely a change,” said Miller. “I think the hardest thing for me was just being in a new environment.”
This school year, the UI expects to take in around 2,000 new transfer students, a large number of them from Iowa's community colleges. UI officials said many can feel the same as Miller.
“Getting connected, getting involved, learning a new campus, even if you’ve been in a college setting before, those can still be challenges,” said Assistant Vice President for Student Life Sarah Hansen.
Hansen said they’re working to change that this year through a slew of new projects. They’ll be expanding the UI’s On Iowa! orientation program to include transfer students. Officials have also created a new website for transfers, http://transfer.uiowa.edu/, full of campus info, tips for success, and more. Plus, the UI has started a mentoring program with 25 former transfer students that will help out new ones.
“It will help connect students to proper academic resources to help them succeed, as well as get them connected with students that have already navigated the environment here at Iowa,” said Hansen.
And more than that, Hansen said it will help them to feel at home. Just ask Miller, who’s signed up to be a mentor herself.
“I just really want everyone to love the university. There’s so much to offer here and it’s a great place,” she said. “Having a mentor will really get them off to the right start.”
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