Mason Reaches Out to Transfer Students

Posted: August 22, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

Mason is one of the largest transfer schools in the country, admitting more than 3,000 transfer students each year. To help ensure academic excellence among these students, the university administration established the Transfer Center in 2006.

The Transfer Center works closely with all campuses of Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) and other community colleges throughout the Northern Virginia area.

“We do on-site visits once a month at both the Loudoun and Manassas NVCC campuses and work with Admissions when they do on-site visits to the other NVCC campuses — Woodbridge, Alexandria and Annandale,” explains Fran Herrity, who directs the Transfer Center with V. Ann Lewis. The center staff also visits community colleges in Fredericksburg, Warrenton and Middletown.

During these on-site visits, the center staff advertises their services to the students, making sure they are aware of the options that are available to them when it comes time to transfer.

The center staff is available to help students begin their transition during the pre-admission stage by providing information, referrals and support. The center coordinates with the Admissions and Orientation Offices, educates students on transfer credits and sending transcripts and coaches students on how they can prepare for the transfer experience.

However, the guidance does not end with acceptance to Mason. The Transfer Center helps new students by providing resources necessary for successful progress toward graduation. The center can help students get acquainted with university policies and the campus. It also offers a ‘home’ for transfer students to go to if they have questions about academic expectations or programs.

In addition to assisting Mason’s transfer students, the Transfer Center holds a yearly information seminar for community colleges.

“Mason brings in faculty and staff to talk about their programs and any changes that have been made in curriculum that could affect the community college programs,” explains Herrity.

One such initiative is currently underway; the Transfer Center is preparing to organize an information exchange between NVCC and Mason. Here faculty members from one department in Mason will meet with faculty members from the same department in one of the community colleges. The goal is to coordinate academics and curriculum and ensure a smooth transition from the community college to Mason.

Initiatives such as the Transfer Center can minimize what is known as “transfer shock.” This refers to the tendency of transfer students to experience a temporary dip in GPA during the first and second semesters at their new institution, Herrity explains.

The Transfer Center is located on the Prince William Campus in the Occoquan Building, Suite 202. For more information, visit the Transfer Center web site, or call 703-993-9152.

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