Supportive Advising for the Transfer Process
If students have shown an interest in learning more about transfer options available to them, quality advice must be available regarding fulfillment of 2YC degree completion and 4YC transfer requirements. It is important that the information they receive is consistent across faculty and institutions.
At the most basic, advising begins with talking to the students and learning about their goals and ideas for their future. That is the information that you will need to give them good advice. Try holding an information session for students interested in geoscience as a career. That will provide an opportunity to share information about what kind of degree is necessary for different careers and steer students towards transferring for a B.S. for more opportunities. Then you can meet individually with students who want to learn more about transferring and help them get information on what's involved with the process. Be sure to stress the value of working with the college counselors on the 2YC end since they are going to have information and contacts that you won't.
It's important to note that this isn't a once-and-done meeting. Successfully engaging with students means regular check-ins to see how they are doing in their coursework and help them adjust their course so that they reach the goal they are shooting for. For example, first-generation students who have positive interactions with faculty are more likely to experience academic success (Kuh et al, 2007). The development of faculty advising and mentoring programs provide an opportunity for students to interact regularly with faculty members and potentially lead to higher retention rates.
Be familiar with articulation agreements
After completing a degree at your 2YC, to where do your students typically transfer? Does your 2YC have a strong articulation agreement with these 4YC? Knowing the answers to these questions is essential for 2YC faculty to best advise potential transfer students. If your institution has articulation agreements in place, familiarize yourself with the particulars: what are the criteria for articulation? (e.g., completed A.S. degree? GPA requirements?); what 2YC geosciences courses count toward 4YC geosciences degree completion? It is also important that you have a sense of the expected timeline to degree completion if coming in with an A.S. and general costs associated with this timeline. If your institution does not have an articulation agreement, you may want to research the process of establishing one. The more you know about how the systems work, the more you can help minimize "transfer shock."
Make transfer information readily available to students
Where possible, share resources about transfer information on a departmental website (City College of San Francisco Earth Sciences Department majors and transfer information). This collective resource is useful to students and faculty alike, and can be particularly helpful to adjunct faculty who may not have the same institutional awareness that full-time faculty have. Discussing general information on transfer options at annual departmental faculty meetings would be useful so students get correct, consistent information from all instructors.
Hatton, A., S. Homer, and L. Park (2009). Advising Transfer Students. Retrieved from NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources (retrieved July 2014): http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Clearinghouse/View-Articles/Advising-Transfer-Students.aspx
Kuh, G.D. (2009). What student affairs professionals need to know about student engagement. Journal of College Student Development, 50(6), 683-706.
Kuh, G.D., Kinzie, J., & Buckley, J.A. (2007). Piecing Together the Student Success Puzzle: Research, Propositions, and Recommendations. ASHE Higher Education Report, 32(5), pp. 7-21.
Reyes, M.-E. 2011. Unique challenges for women of color in STEM transferring from community colleges to universities. Harvard Educational Review, v. 81, 241-262.