Making a new school work

Marisa Dalessandro

Transfer students face challenges

Being a transfer student can be quite nerve-racking. With previous college experience under his or her belt, a transfer student doesn’t share the same “what is college like” worries as a freshman. However, a transfer student does worry about what college is like at Kent State compared to the old school.

The Office of Academic Transfer is an excellent source of information for transfer students. Its Web site is and it offers advice, links and answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Barbara Miller works with transfer students in the Student Advising Center located in Lake Hall. She said students should get involved with the Center for Student Involvement.

“Transfer students already have under their belt what it takes to succeed. The center focuses on career development and networking,” Miller said.

Previous transfer students can offer great advice. They’ve already been where current transfer students are now and they truly understand the experience.

Marlie Wilcox is an expert on transferring. She transferred from Ohio State to Ohio University after the first quarter. After two quarters at OU, she transferred to Kent State. This will be her third year here.

“Even if you’re unhappy at the school you’re at,” Wilcox said, “give it a whole year. You may find you like the school if you stick it out.”

Transfer orientation is a place to meet other transfer students and bond over experiences. It helps to have someone on campus that’s going through similar situations.

Dive into activities and groups on campus. It’s a great way to meet people who share similar interests. There are groups for almost everything that students are interested in.

“The thing I regret the most is not getting involved,” Wilcox said.

Transfer students who are strong academically have the opportunity to be involved in Tau Sigma, a transfer student honor society. Contact Miller at (330) 772-3676 to get involved.

“Tau Sigma is a real active organization. They have book drives, meetings and programming,” Miller said.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Returning students love to talk about what they do at Kent State, are familiar with the best routes to class buildings and know where the best parties are.

Living on campus will help transfer students get to know people and stay involved with what’s going on around campus. Transfer students that are eligible to live off campus should find a connection to campus life. There is so much going on around campus to help students feel connected to Kent State.

“The dorms that I lived in definitely made a difference,” Wilcox said. “I lived in an all-girls dorm at OSU and the girls were so cliquey, it was hard to make friends, but at OU I loved the dorm I was in and made all my friends there.”

Wilcox suggests checking out the residence halls before moving in.

Getting to know the people in your classes is also a good idea. Classes are a place to make friends.

“I met a lot of people through classes,” Wilcox said. “You tend to have the classes for your major with the same people.”

Meeting with an adviser is really important, not only to find out how credits transfer but how they apply to specific programs.

“We help with the decision on what classes to take, and what majors to declare,” Miller said. “To make the most out of their credits, transfer students should definitely meet with an adviser.”

A lot of students transfer from community colleges or a small school to Kent State. The biggest difficulty is the adjustment to class size and the number of students on campus.

“Whatever didn’t work at your old school, learn from that and approach it differently,” Miller said. “Whatever worked, try and apply that here as well.

Contact general assignment reporter Marisa Dalessandro at [email protected].