Working with Transfer Students Brownbag: Summary

Working with Transfer Students
01/25/2011; 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM G239 & 243 Angell Hall.

Summary: Carmela Brown, Coordinator for Transfer Students, and Chris Luebbe, Coordinator for Major Advising presented an overview of some of the key issues in working with Transfer Students, during orientation and beyond. Carmela began with some statistics about this population, e.g., the total number of transfer students who entered this past fall and winter semesters was 721; 41% of transfers were junior standing; the highest numbers came from Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, UM—Dearborn, and Michigan State. She then moved on to the admissions timeline. Students can transfer Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer terms. The application deadline for Spring, Summer, and Fall is February 1, and for Winter it is September 1. Potential transfers, however,  may have questions at any point along this timeline. Chris then gave an overview of the evaluation of credit for these students and showed the new transfer credit worksheet which shows the exact correspondence between the courses at the student’s previous institution and their posting on the U-M transcript. This worksheet is located in the ImageNow/WebNow system of imaged documents, which is linked to from the Student Advising File. (For questions about this system and permission to access it, contact Mark Guevara — The main issue related to the evaluation and posting of transfer credit is whether there is and/or should be an exact U-M equivalent, which can determine a student’s ability to register for any courses with enforced prerequisites, and may also require the entering of a major exception in the Student Advising File if a department advisor approves a transfer course as fulfilling a major requirement. Credit Evaluation will accept requests for revision to the posting of transfer credit both for individual students or universally.


The main challenges in working with transfer students are: 

  1. during Orientation: building workable, satisfying schedules; this is complicated by limited course availability and access to department advisors to discuss proper placement and or give permissions
  2. after Orientation: quickly integrating these students into the University, College, and department, and facilitating a “normal” time to declaration and degree.


In the subsequent discussion, some best practices and recommendations emerged:

  • Work with, and reach out to transfers as soon as possible, possibly even before their orientation. Please feel free to collaborate with the Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center and/or our liaison to your department/program in this regard. Our communication with incoming transfer students will include information about how to contact the departments. (Bear in mind that these students may not be able to use the online appointment system yet.)
  • Refer students to Credit Evaluation course equivalencies site with the caveat that just because a course is listed there with an exact U-M equivalent, does not mean that it automatically counts towards requirements for the major.
  • Work to evaluate courses from “feeder” schools, e.g., Washtenaw Community College, that might be in fact or at least be seen by students as equivalent to prerequisite courses (whether for the major or for upper-level courses) in your department. (See Provost’s Office contact under Resources below.)

    Request revision of transfer course posting (universally or for individual students) as appropriate.
  • Survey your current declared transfer students (or all your students) about what they would like to hear about from the department, how they would like to stay involved in the department, or what might entice them to do so, etc. CRLT has some materials from the 2009 Assessment Symposium on their website:
  • Work with JoAnn Peraino and the Newnan Advising Center to assess demand in specific courses; Reserve seats in these courses for transfer students if appropriate.




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