SEM check-in: Increase transfer enrollment

 

SEM Goal 8: Increase enrollment of new fall transfer students.

In conjunction with the university’s Strategic Planning process, WSU has developed a Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) plan for future growth. To stay informed on the progress toward our goals, each month we will provide the status of one of the goals and provide information for you to assist us in moving forward together.

Transfer students play an important role in enrollment. They account for nearly half of all new undergraduate degree-seeking students in a typical fall term. Accordingly, in fall 2017 we created a SEM goal specifically for transfers. For fall 2018, we have seen an increase of 6.6 percent, or 79 additional new transfers, over fall 2017, for a total of 1,269 students. Chart of WSU transfer studentsOne year ago, we implemented the Transfer Gateway, making it easier for prospective transfer students to see how their courses will fit into degree programs at WSU, as well as to request evaluation of transfer courses not already in our equivalency system. Since this system went live, we’ve had more than 5,600 visits to the gateway, with around 1,760 of those being distinct users. Nearly 1,400 requests for course reviews have been submitted, helping to enhance the equivalency tables that feed the Transfer Gateway. Overall, we’ve had positive responses to the new gateway and continue to work with the vendor to enhance its functionality for transfer students.

The spring semester is the peak application season for transfer students. The admissions team, as well as academic advisors from each college, visit our three core feeder community colleges (Butler, Hutchinson, Cowley) to connect with students as well as the advisors at those institutions.

Advertisements about transfer scholarships and other WSU factoids (e.g., WSU is the #1 transfer destination in Kansas for seven years running) are placed in many community college newspapers. Direct outreach efforts include email and print campaigns to prospective students at community colleges.

Justin Petersen, WSU transfer coordinator, provides answers to many in-depth questions that transfer students have. He also facilitates dual advising that allows students who are still completing classes at a community college to connect with our college academic advisors for a smooth transition to WSU.

What can you do?

  1. Faculty who evaluate transfer equivalency requests should turn those around as quickly as possible with a goal of less than two weeks. Transfer students could be basing their transfer decision on the speed and answers to those requests, so a timely response is critical.
  2. Encourage transfer students considering Wichita State to apply no later than April 1 for transfer scholarship consideration. Better yet, have them apply now as the transfer scholarship awarding process begins in February.
  3. Consider transfer students’ needs and expectations as part of your department / office’s outreach strategies. Make sure messaging and activities meets transfer students where they are. These students already have some college experience, are typically strong academically, have a clear career path in mind and juggle busy work and personal schedules. Transfer students tend to have less free time than incoming high school seniors, so they appreciate succinct service, clear outcomes and flexible options.


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