As a transfer counselor, we have all been involved in a transfer day fair, a transfer open house, and an individual visit where we are inconspicuously put the stairwell and hope someone stops to ask a relevant question, but 9 times out of 10, it is something like “do you know where the bathrooms are?” Since transfer students are becoming more and more of a huge part of a schools success, it is important to know the best method for recruitment. I think the answer to this question will vary from school to school, because let’s face it, a small private school and a large public school have a vastly different approach to recruitment efforts, but what type of transfer recruitment program do you think is most effective?
We know that the previously named recruitment tools all have varying levels of success, but are there more effective programs or alternate programs that work just as well? We all know prospective transfer students have many different types of questions than a prospective freshman student or even a continuing studies non-traditional student. For instance, a high school senior seeking freshman admission to a University may ask an Admission Representative what their institution requires for standardized test scores or high school GPA. And yet a prospective transfer student may ask something like, “do you accept upper-level biology courses as a major course?” Or, even more complicated like, “I have potential transfer credits from two different universities, how does your university accept these potential transfer credits?” The point being here is that a prospective transfer student has many different and more complex questions and concerns as they approach admission representatives.
Can a 5-10 minute conversation at a college fair answer these type of questions accurately and appropriately?
This doesn’t mean regional or community colleges should not offer their students transfer fairs, but it makes us think about the type of transfer recruitment programs we plan and organize for our prospective transfer students. Individual visits by a four-year admission representative to a county or community college can be fruitful, especially if institutions have a partnership agreement established. But, what are some other forms of recruitment programs for transfer students? Transfer Information Sessions, Transfer Night programs, or online or virtual Transfer Open House presentations have been done before and they have produced effective results. Initially, an online Transfer Presentation or webinar sounds like a good idea, but feedback from transfer counselors and other IT and Instruction Design professionals give this type of recruitment strategy mixed reviews. Not due to the content, but the way it is offered or portrayed to the prospective students, not to mention the technology related issues that may arise. Today’s student is certainly savvy enough to locate, participate, and view an online seminar, but unless this program is asynchronous and can be viewed or downloaded at any time the convenience aspect of an online recruitment program goes out the window.
So what seems to be the best type of transfer recruitment program? The answer may not be an absolute answer, but maybe more of a formula developed to attract and hopefully service a multitude of prospective transfer students. It also varies depending on the need of both the school and the student. Prospective transfer students have individual needs, concerns, and questions they feel that need to be heard, while the schools have a quota to meet.
Fill out the poll below and see what schools across the tri-state area think is the best transfer recruitment tool!