Tips for transferring students: leaving the nest

Left to right: former MCCC students Brady Spitulski, Kellyann Navarre, and Taylor Apker sit together between classes at the University of Toledo. Photo taken from Kellyann Navarre's facebook.

Miranda Gardner

staff member

Transferring is an experience, and for the inexperienced, it can prove to be stressful.

MCCC graduate Kellyann Navarre found these things helpful:

  1. Time management
  2. Campus advisors
  3. Student resources

First and foremost:

“Don’t doubt yourself,” she said. “It can seem intimidating to transfer from a community college to a university, but other than the different environment, the work seems the same.”  

Plan accordingly:

Consider schools, make appointments to visit that university/college, and prepare to apply.

There are transfer guides to several schools on the college webpage.

MCCC student services advisor Jill Denko said, students can wait until fall grades are posted to send transcripts or to send them now.

“Have an official transcript sent from here to your university of choice.”

If the transfer school of choice is in Michigan, check out the Michigan Transfer Agreement.

“Do an audit to make sure you’re meeting the MTA requirements,” she advised. 

Time management:

Denko suggests getting an early start.

“Students should work on applications at this time.” 

Once the university/college accepts your application, you should register for classes.

The student body at universities fills classrooms faster than community colleges.

“By the date they allow new transfer students to register for classes, many classes are already filled,” Navarre said.

Some forms of orientation, online or on campus, are required before transfer students can register.

“I managed to enroll in some of the classes that only had one spot left by completing the online orientation,” she said. 

If Navarre waited one more day, she would not have been able to get into two of the classes she needed to graduate, she said.

“I waited until midnight, the hour it opened, and enrolled in the classes that morning. Basically, register as soon as possible and keep track of important dates.”

Campus advisors:

Meet with an advisor and come with a list of questions, Navarre said.

“Advisors can help with the stress of picking classes and map out an idea for you.”

They are aware of honors programs, opportunities, and scholarships the university has to offer that new students might not have known.

“Anything you have questions about, they’ll know, and if they don’t know, they can tell you who to ask,” she said. 

“They usually have the option to apply for specific transfer scholarships as well as multiple other general scholarships.”

Again, keep an eye on the universities’ financial aid and scholarship deadlines.

“If you don’t know, a simple call will usually answer all your questions,” Navarre said.

Student resources:

Be aware of what’s available to you, Navarre said.

“At the university I transferred to, there is a food pantry, free counseling services, a medical center, and even an emergency fund for students who have a one-time extreme accident or medical problem that may prevent them from attending classes.”

“One of the main things I’m struggling with is how lonely it feels,” she said.

“It just seems so much more alienated compared to the community college.”

She recommends joining a club or group that’s related to your major/interests.

“This can help new transfer students feel more comfortable and make connections they may feel like they lost.”