The start of the semester brings new classes, new textbooks and even new students, both first years and transfers.
This spring 59 students transferred to California Lutheran University according to Associate Director of Admission Ineke Dyer. Though the number of transfers is significantly smaller that the 247 from the fall, Cal Lutheran still holds orientation twice a year in order to make the transition smoother for new students.
About 50 transfer students attended orientation in the spring and about 200 in the fall according to Coordinator for Transitional and Leadership Development Programs Jaime Faucher. With the majority of new students attending, orientation plays a big role in students’ transition to the university.
Cal Lutheran seeks to be welcoming and supportive by targeting portions of orientation specifically for transfers.
“We do more career preparation, networking with faculty, making sure that their credits that they’ve had at pervious institutions transfer over so there’s a large focus on registrar,” Faucher said.
This focus on registrar allows students to take care of their previous credits and help them enroll in new classes at Cal Lutheran. Registrar does their best to accept credits students have previously completed and to connect them with their new adviser to make scheduling classes as simple as possible.
“Here they found a way to put in everything,” said Megan McDonald, a fall 2014 transfer. “Nothing was unaccounted for and that’s what really helps. That put me as a junior, maybe senior standing.”
Orientation also introduces students to the university along with helping them feel more comfortable as they begin to attend the school. They become connected with students and teachers which allows them to feel like they belong at Cal Lutheran.
“The most important part for students is to be able to see themselves being there for a long period of time and investing a large part of themselves into the community,” Faucher said.
Students transfer to Cal Lutheran for a variety of reasons including dissatisfaction with their previous school and the desire to move to a four-year institution after attending community college.
“I came from Biola University and that was one year,” McDonald said. “I really wasn’t a fit.”
Her transition to Cal Lutheran however went much better.
“It was a really good one. Everyone is super friendly,” McDonald said.
Erica Gomez, a spring 2015 transfer, came from Grossmont College in San Diego.
“I didn’t want to wait another semester and go to community. Community everybody just does their own thing. I just didn’t enjoy it and I was ready for a change, to meet people and experience college.”
Transfer students also range in life paths, college experience levels and more.
“They may not be your typical transfer student; they may have families, they may be a little older than the 18 to 22 year old college student,” said Marcela Serratos, admissions counselor.
The majority of transfers however tend to be commuters, according to Serratos. Many of them do attend orientation, yet may not spend much time on campus otherwise. This can provide a roadblock for transfers looking to be a part of the Cal Lutheran community particularly because they go to class then go off campus away from the college community.
“Transfer students have that disadvantage that we haven’t been here since freshman year,” McDonald said. “Walk around more, it really helps… I probably need to walk around more and just see what on campus activities there are.”
Faucher, like McDonald, advises new students of the importance of being “open to trying new things and meeting new people.”
Published February 4th, 2015