Advising Transfer Students

First, understand why a student may transfer

Some typical reasons are: 

  • Continuing education after completion of an Associate’s Degree
  • Major change
  • Financial considerations
  • Geographic preferences
  • Poor institutional fit at their previous institution (i.e., educational or social environment of the institution was not congruent with the student’s expectations, abilities, future plans, academic performance, or comfort level) 

The common element among these students is they are making a very significant change in their lives and as advisors we need to be there to support, encourage, and challenge them.

Know that “Transfer Shock” is real

An advisor must first recognize that “transfer shock” really exists. All transfer students enter a new institutional environment, which has different policies and procedures, advising structures, terminology, technology, faculty and academic expectations.

Providing information is key while working with a transfer student. They need to know where to go, whom they should speak with, and when. Typical things that are often assumed that transfer students know, but they may not:

  • Core requirements
  • Major requirements
  • How to use Student Planning
  • Campus Resources
  • Academic Calendar
  • Nazareth Policies

Remember that regardless of their class level, transfer students will not be completely familiar with campus resources and services, so please make referrals to appropriate resources. In addition, they are in classes with students who have been here since they were freshmen and may be feeling that they should know more than they do.

Transfer Credit Basics

For the full list of transfer credit policies, see the catalog link at the bottom. Listed below are some of the key points related to transferring credit that are helpful to know.

  • Grades do not transfer, only credits. Cumulative GPA  is calculated only with those credits earned at Nazareth University.
  • A grade of C- or better must be earned to be granted credit.
  • A maximum of 66 credits from a 2-year institution and 90 credits from a 4-year institution (and 90 credits total) will be accepted in transfer.
  • Class standing is based on credit. However, even if a student transfers in as a junior, it still might take them longer than 4 years to complete their degree depending on their major and how their credits apply to their requirements.
  • ACS and FYS are waived for incoming transfer students.
  • Integrative studies courses may be transferred to be used in their CME at Nazareth.
  • Liberal Arts credits should be given careful attention, as this requirement is often overlooked by transfer students.
  • Residency requirements: Students must take at least 30 credits at Nazareth to earn a degree. Transfer students must also take at least two PEQs at Nazareth, even if they have transferred in all eight categories.

The credit evaluation provided to each transfer student upon admission can be a great resource during an advisement meeting since these courses may need to be referenced. If the student doesn’t have their copy, the Academic Advisement Center can provide this.

ACS 090 - Academic and College Success for Transfer Students

Since fall 2019, all transfer students have been required to take a non-credit, six-week course to assist transfer students in making a successful transition to Nazareth. This ACS 090 course has similar content as that of the ACS 101 course for all freshmen, but modified and tailored to fit the unique needs of transfer students. The course focuses on providing resources, fostering important relationships, and helping students to understand college policies and procedures. 

Be encouraging

The challenge is letting transfer students know that their success at Nazareth depends on their efforts. After fall orientation (if they attend) and ACS 090, their integration into the college environment and community will be their responsibility. Acknowledge that it can be difficult to put forth the effort to start over and encourage them to use the services and people that can facilitate the process.