Transfer students talk about coming to Kent State

Michael Hanshaw

Every fall, Kent State welcomes thousands of new students on campus. While most of these are new freshman students who have just graduated from high school, some have already been to college, and some even have degrees.

Mark LeDoux, associate director of admissions, said there are many reasons that students choose to transfer. These reasons range from academics, finances, residential change, employment change or wanting to stay closer to family.

About 1,200 transfer students will be enrolling in classes this fall after a credit evaluation has been completed through the Transfer Center.

Ryan Stover is a 25-year-old freshman exploratory major from Streetsboro who is returning to college after having graduated from Fortis College in Cuyahoga Falls. During his time between Fortis and Kent State, he served in the U.S. Army, where he was stationed in California and Missouri for two years.

Stover said he decided to attend Kent State because it is close to home and because his tuition and books are being paid for by the U.S. Army.

He said the two biggest differences between Fortis and Kent State are the size of the campus and the quality of education.

Unlike Fortis, most instructors at Kent State have master’s or doctorate degrees.

“The campus is much bigger, but the signs around campus are very helpful,” Stover said. “I’m getting a much better quality of education here.”

Stover has yet to get involved with any campus activities since he and his wife are expecting a son in September, but after the birth he would like to join the fencing club ­— fencing is a hobby he has been practicing since 2003.

Alex Kirkpatrick, a 26-year-old senior and resident of Cuyahoga Falls, is returning to college to study accelerated nursing. She graduated from Miami University in 2010 with a degree in speech pathology, and this will be her second bachelor’s degree.

Kirkpatrick said she decided to attend Kent State because it is close to home and because of the nursing program.

“Kent State has an excellent nursing program, which I was interested in because I have nurses in my family,” Kirkpatrick said.

She said that a lack of diversity at Miami University was a downside, and she was not interested in other local schools that she believed were too urbanized.

“Kent State is diverse, giving it a friendly college atmosphere,” Kirkpatrick said.

Kim Kearns, administrative clerk in the College of Business undergraduate office, has a few suggestions for incoming transfer students.

“I always recommend students to tour the campus,” Kearns said. “I strongly recommend Transfer Kent State, a program for students with fewer than 31 credit hours.”

Kearns said some students will wait until a few weeks before the semester starts to register for classes and end up having problems due to overrides. She suggests that students meet with an adviser during the previous semester to avoid this problem.

Roberto Chavez, an academic advisor and assistant outreach coordinator in the College of Business undergraduate office, said the academic experience for a transfer student may be different than for that of an incoming freshman just out of high school.

“Transfer students have goals or expectations that may be different because of more experience and age,” Chavez said.

LeDoux said there are many concerns that transfer students have, but two in particular stand out:

“What credits will transfer and how long will it take to graduate?”

Contact Michael Hanshaw at [email protected].