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.
Meet with the students
At the most basic, the advising process 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.
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. Eleanor Camann of Red Rocks Community College discusses the successes and challenges of establishing a statewide transfer agreement in Colorado.
Communicate with 2YC and 4YC institutional advising offices
Establish connections in your institutional academic advising and transfer offices to familiarize yourself with degree and transfer requirements. For students attending 2YC and transferring to 4YC, time and cost are two of the most important barriers to student success (Boggs, 2010). Be able to provide students with a clear sense of financial, time and academic commitments to degree completion. Again, personal connections are key for 2YC students, so provide contact information for specific individuals in advising offices for both your campus and the 4YC.
Make transfer information readily available
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.
Stay connected with students who transfer
Students who move on to 4YC from 2YC often note the lack of community, and sense of isolation as part of their transfer shock (Reyes, 2011). Staying connected to 2YC students who transfer to 4YC programs can help to them adjust to their new coursework and community. Maintaining strong relationships can also provide an opportunity for assessment of how well 2YC geoscience programs are preparing their students for transfer success. 2YC faculty can check in with alums of their programs, and encourage alums to stay in touch with them via a departmental listserves, social media sites, or newsletters. 2YC instructors can also invite alums back to campus to talk about their experiences, in regards to transferring to a 4YC but also beyond that into their careers.