Northern Michigan University Admissions office will host the National Transfer Student Week on campus this week.
National Transfer Student Week is a week dedicated to transfer students and the journey they have taken throughout their higher education path. The week also celebrates the journey taken for both transfer students and the professionals that have helped students.
The National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students wrote on their site that today’s students are transferring more than ever before.
“As transfer champions, it’s vitally important that we build awareness of common transfer barriers and the diverse student needs and identities within our transfer populations,” NISTS wrote. “Although the transition between institutions is inherently complex, we believe that transfer is a good and valuable pathway to bachelor’s degree completion.”
Lucas Abromowitz, senior associate director of admissions, said that he is looking forward to the community aspect of this by building and developing connections between students, faculty and staff.
“This will be the first time this event has been held, so we are actually planning it within the current COVID-19 guidelines and nuances that it brings,” Abromowitz said. “It has been interesting and challenging as anyone coordinating an event right now also understands.”
Admissions will hold a week full of activities with themes for each day of the week. Everyday Admissions will have a table set up in the lobby of Jamrich, outside room 1100, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with free buttons and a map to pin transfer locations on.
The rest of the week’s themes are as followed.
—Transfer T-Shirt Tuesday: wear the apparel of where transfer students went to college previously.
—Wildcat Wednesday: wear NMU apparel to show Wildcat pride.
—Transfer Connections Mixer: collaboration with Student Success Specialists, Center for Student Enrichment and Career Services to ask questions about campus.
Abromowitz said that he hopes the week will have a good turnout with transfer students.
“I am hopeful that we will exhaust our supply of free buttons by the end of the week, have many amazing locations pinned on the transfer map, and meet a lot of transfer students at the mixer on Thursday,” Abromowitz said.
According to Abromowitz, transfer students make up a third of NMU student population. Transfer students come from the Midwest and outside as well from Florida, California and Alaska.
“The issues of transferring credits and navigating college are shared experiences for many first-year students as well,” Abromowitz said. “By understanding those challenges and investing in serving transfer students, we help the rest of our student body as well.”
For Sawyer Jones, senior environmental studies and sustainability major who transferred from Madison College in 2019, he said that he has gotten the full college experience and then some.
“During my first year in the dorms, my house won house of the year. I got to be an active part of many projects and activities for my house, hall and campus,” Jones said. “I could not have done it without a great RA who reached out and invited me to lunch one day.”
Jones said that he considered himself to be lucky but his experience is not unique.
“Honestly, I forget that I am a transfer student because of how welcoming everyone was and is.” Jones said.
Elsie Ramsey, junior standing graphic design major, has been at NMU since fall 2020. Ramsey said that she transferred to NMU because of the great things that she heard about the graphic design program at NMU.
“I have loved my experience at NMU so far. It has provided ample knowledge and opportunity,” Ramsey said. “The community college I came from was great but could not quite provide what NMU has.”
Despite being a transfer student, Ramsey said she feels that she has been able to have a full college experience.
“The only thing I feel as though I have missed out on is the dorm experience because I am in the on-campus apartments,” Ramsey said. “In all other ways, I do feel as though I have gotten the full experience, even with COVID trying to ruin everything.”
Ramsey’s biggest piece of advice for other transfer students is to not feel bad about being overwhelmed when deciding to transfer.
“Typically transfers kind of got the hang of how college courses work at this point, but that does not change the fact that you are in a completely new place,” Ramsey said. “To help with that I would definitely recommend joining a group you are genuinely passionate about and making some friends, even if you just start by joining a group associated with your major. This has been instrumental in helping me to feel at home here.”