Transfer Admissions & Advising Committee

Bridging the knowledge gap between two and four year schools

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The 2018 TAAC Transfer Conference is honored to announce that this year’s Keynote is Dr. Laura W. Perna!

Dr. Laura Perna

Dr. Laura W. Perna is James S. Riepe Professor and Executive Director of the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (AHEAD) at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). She has served as President of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Vice President of the Postsecondary Division of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and chair of Penn’s Faculty Senate. Her research uses a range of methodological approaches to identify how social structures, educational practices, and public policies can promote college access and success, particularly for groups that continue to be underrepresented in higher education. Recent books include The Attainment Agenda: State policy leadership for higher education (with Joni Finney, 2014, Johns Hopkins University Press). Her research has been funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, Lumina Foundation, and other sources, and has been featured by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Atlantic, National Public Radio, and other outlets. She has provided invited testimony to the U.S. Senate’s Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee and U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training. She is a Fellow of AERA and Penn, and recipient of ASHE’s Early Career Achievement Award, Penn’s Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, and National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award.

Improving College Attainment for All Students

Higher education is increasingly important to the economic and social well-being of individuals and our society. But, despite its importance, rates of college enrollment and completion vary dramatically across groups. This presentation discusses the forces that continue to limit college access and completion for students from underserved groups, and the roles of public policy and institutional practice in addressing the systemic barriers to college attainment. The presentation draws from two recent books: The State of College access and Completion: Improving college success for students from underrepresented groups (2013, co-edited with Anthony Jones), and The Attainment Agenda: State Policy Leadership in Higher Education (2014, co-authored with Joni Finney).

We hope you can make it!

Transfer Admissions & Advising Committee (TAAC)


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Lets talk Transfer!

We are interested in hearing your opinion. You can now submit a session proposal for the 5th Annual TAAC Transfer Conference on May 24, at Widener University.

Here are some topic ideas, but you are certainly welcome to bring your own:
– transfer articulation
– collaboration between two-year and four-year institutions
– adult/non-traditional learner support
– transfer orientations
– communication and recruitment plans for transfer students
– “swirler” students
– dual enrollment students
– reverse transfers
– engaging and retaining transfers
– veterans transfer issues
– student athlete transfer issues
– academic advising for transfer students

Submit your proposal below:

Do you know someone else who has a lot to say about transfer? Do not be shy and share the news!

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Excited to announce our 5th Annual TAAC Conference scheduled for May 24, 2018 at Widener University.

Join us for the 2018 TAAC Transfer Conference hosted at Widener University on May 24, 2018.

The 2018 TAAC Transfer Conference will serve as a resource for professionals in the business of supporting students’ post-secondary educational goals. We seek opportunities to brainstorm, network and better educate transfer professionals about the intricacies of the transfer process as it relates to the future of higher education. Issues covered may include, but are not limited to, articulations, transfer orientation, concerns of student transitions, and adult and veteran affairs.

WHERE: Widener University, One University Place, Chester PA 19013 

WHEN: Thursday May 24, 2018, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM EDT 

COST: $50



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Hard work pays off!

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Thank you to all who took part in TAAC’s 4thAnnual Transfer Conference at Cabrini University on May 30, 2017! From John Fink, our distinguished keynote speaker, to each one of our outstanding workshop speakers and round table discussion moderators, sponsors, as well as everyone who attended- we could not have done it without you!


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TAAC 2017 Transfer Conference Agenda and Session Descriptions

New This Year: Tuesday, May 30, 2017

  • Social Event from 6:00p.m.-8:00p.m at Gullifty’s
  • Come join the members of TAAC before the conference for some fun and appetizers
  • Please RSVP to before May 19th.
    • Gullifty’s, 1149 Lancaster Avenue, Rosemont, PA 19010


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

  • 8:30a.m.-9:00a.m. –              Registration and Refreshments
  • 9:00a.m.-10:15a.m. –            Welcome and Keynote Speaker – John Fink, CCRC
  • 10:30a.m.-11:30a.m. –           Session I – Presentations
  • 11:30a.m.-12:30p.m. –           Lunch
  • 12:45p.m.-1:45p.m –              Session II – Presentations
  • 1:50p.m. – 2:50p.m. –            Session III – Presentations
  • 3:00p.m. – 3:45p.m. –            On the go snack/Round table discussions
    • Articulation Agreements
    • Continuation of the Keynote Presentation
    • International Admissions
    • Transfer Shock
  • 3:45p.m. – 4:00p.m. –           Closing and Raffle

*Agenda is subject to change.


Session 1

1. A) The “Typical” Community College? No such thing!: Sandra Gonzalez-Torres

Sandra will moderate the panel. Panel participants are still to be determined but will include representatives from different area community colleges.

There are many stereotypes of community colleges and the community college student. While there are some obvious commonalities, there is no such thing as a “typical” community college or community college student. A community college’s relationship to a particular baccalaureate institution may be influenced by the community college’s history, their structure and the community they serve. Come learn from our panel of diverse community colleges (ie: large urban, multi-campus suburban, etc.); how they are structured and how they serve their communities and students. *(institution names and representatives to be determined)

While transfer from community colleges to baccalaureate institutions is not new, it seems that some baccalaureate institutions are just starting to notice the community college student. Given this, it is important for baccalaureate institutions to learn about the different types of community colleges and the students they serve. Learning outcomes: 1. Learn about some of the different types of community colleges in the area (ie: large urban, multi-campus suburban, etc.). 2. Understand the different ways the community colleges on the panel are structured and how they serve their communities and students. 3. Recognize that a community college’s relationship to a particular baccalaureate institution may be influenced by the community college’s history, their structure and the community they serve. While we hope this will be interesting to all, this presentation is geared towards baccalaureate institutions.

1. B) Preparing Student-Athletes for NCAA Division I Transfer: Kimberly Marsh, Athletics Certifying Officer Temple University

Basic understanding of NCAA Division I transfer policy and how to better advise your student-athlete. This is for advisors and transfer counselors, given in a PowerPoint and discussion format

There are times a student-athlete is attempting to communicate “missing” requirements for transfer, or a non-recruited student attempts to “walk-on” a team and are not eligible. Learn basics to be helpful in the transition.

1. C) Extending a Helping Hand to New Transfer Students: Cross-Campus Collaboration is Key for Transfer Students to Feel that They Matter on Your Campus: Jared Brown, Director of New Student Programs West Chester University of PA,

Lisa Calvano, Management Department West Chester University of PA Kathy Koval, College of Business & Public Management West Chester University of PA

The more transfer students feel included, heard, and valued, the more likely they will be successful on a college campus. The feeling of being seen and heard should extend beyond the admissions process and into both the classroom and out-of-classroom experiences. This session will focus on the challenges of meeting transfer students’ academic and social adjustment needs as well as the opportunities this presents. Our session will provide an overview of new collaborative efforts between the Department of Management and the Office of New Student Programs at West Chester University and highlight what extended assistance we will pilot to help new transfer students in their first year and beyond. With more support in and out of the classroom, we believe new transfer students will thrive as they transition to their new academic and social environments.

The presentation will apply theory to practice in assisting transfer students in and out of the classroom. We will review Schlossberg’s Theory of “Marginality and Mattering” along with concepts from Kahn’s “Holding Environments at Work” to emphasize the importance of extending communication beyond admissions and providing connection opportunities for new transfer students. These opportunities will happen when there is collaboration across the university and departments understand the importance of the transfer student transition.


Session 2

2. A) Resources to Support Transgender Transfer Students: Christopher M. Dungee, Counselor/Assistant Professor at Delaware County Community College

Accommodating transfer students on your campus can provide challenges for even those well prepared institutions, but more and more college campuses across the country are making an effort to accommodate transgender students. Have you ever considered how and what your campus is doing? This session will help you support transgender students in their transition to your institution, to help them feel welcomed, and support them as they look to navigate the college experience. In this session, terminology will be reviewed, as will topics around recruitment, retention, and admission practices, to name a few. This session will provide a safe environment to ask questions to better educate your knowledge and understanding of the transgender transfer student.

Although college campuses are more inclusive than ever they still have a long way to go. As I meet with college personnel, it has become clear that they do not know what policies to adopt or what systems to put in place to ensure that trans students are not just recruited but are retained. There is increasing visibility of this population and many are faced with leaving their current school to find a better prepared, more suitable environment. Although transgender students look for many of the same factors in a college or university as any other transfer student, there  unique challenges as well. All personnel play an important role. Admissions personnel, counselors and advisers, teaching faculty and more should have a vested interest in helping transgender transfer students.

2. B) Working with Transfer student: From Recruitment, to Retention, to Graduation, and Beyond: Kate Markowitz (Rickards), Director of Transfer, Veteran and Online BBA Recruitment Fox School of Business, Temple University,; Claudia Bereshnyi Assistant Director of Transfer, Veteran and Online BBA Recruitment Fox School of Business, Temple University

Temple University was founded as a community school allowing access to a quality college education. While the freshmen standards become more selective, the school remains a transfer friendly institution. At Temple’s Fox School of Business over 40% of the 6800 undergraduate students come as transfer students. This session will discuss the ways in which Fox engages these students from the time they identify Fox as where they would like to transfer to, through the pre admissions and admissions processes, orientation, advising and the co-curricular activities students are engaged in while they are at Fox.

This presentation is aiming to act as a case study for successful enrollment management of transfer students from initial inquiry throughout the entire transfer admissions process to the time of enrollment. The session will also address creating students that are actively engaging in outside the classroom professional development activities leading them to be part of Fox’s 94% job placement rate.

2. C) The New Rules of Engagement: Understanding and overcoming some of the student-veteran challenges inherent in the transition to college: Michael Sparrow, Associate Dean, Academic Success/Northampton Community College

Many students, especially student-veterans, may not possess the institutional and academic capital necessary to transition into the role of college student. Consequently, these students do not integrate into the campus culture, leading to academic struggles and failure to persist and graduate. We will examine some of the challenges facing student-veterans in their acclimation to college-level work through liminal theory and Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of cultural capital, field, and habitus and explore how these theories can provide the foundation of proven success programs like academic coaching.

Many student-veterans do not possess the institutional and cultural capital necessary to become effective college students in both a social and academic sense. Numerous academic success programs exist today, but many of these well-intentioned programs are not informed by relevant theory and therefore fail to fully realize their potential to reach students and drive positive academic outcomes. This presentation will examine Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of cultural capital and habitus and how the transmission of cultural capital can empower students in their efforts to integrate in campus life and perform better academically. This presentation will also explore how Bourdieu’s theories can inform and underpin student success programs like academic coaching and other student-veteran success outreach efforts. Learning Outcomes: After attending this presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Describe some of the unique and universal challenges facing student-veterans on campuses 2. Define cultural capital and habitus and apply these theories to the challenges facing student-veterans 3. Explain how the transmission of cultural capital, institutional competency, and college “know how” to student-veterans can facilitate campus acclimation efforts and academic performance. 4. Deploy these theories to enhance current academic success programs or create new, effective programs that drive student-veteran success and persistence.


Session 3

3. A) Recruitment & Retention of Transfer Students: The Role of Innovation and Collaboration in Transfer Student Success: Shannon Zottola, Nakia Mack, Interim Director of the Center for Student Success & Director of Retention, Cabrini University 

This session will explore innovative methods of expanding the transfer enrollment funnel, as well as how internal institutional collaboration and strategic goal setting can assist in boosting the success of transfer students at your institution.

While successful recruitment of transfer students is critical to an institution’s ability to meet revenue goals, retaining and graduating transfer students is equally important for a variety of reasons. This session will provide a combination of theoretical foundations, best practices, and practical strategies designed to assist Enrollment Managers in meeting both transfer recruitment and retention goals.

 3. B) Put Yourself in Their Shoes: A Prospective Transfer Student’s Online Journey: Mark Cunningham EVP, Client Solutions and Strategy

Breaking news: Prospective transfer students are online. They’re searching constantly and for everything. They’re spending time on mobile and social. And they’re quietly demonstrating interest without telling you who they are. The online journey of a prospective transfer student is an elusive one for those in undergraduate enrollment. With that journey in mind, we’ll put ourselves in their shoes and walk through some of the things you should consider to ensure your institution is accomplishing what is needed to reach and engage these audiences along the way. Included in this session will be data, insights, and strategies from our partners at Google, along with actionable to-do’s you can take away that cover everything from search results and mobile interactions to how your website experiences for these students can improve.

For 30 years, Carnegie Communications has been a leader in higher education marketing and enrollment solutions. Our recruitment and lead generation services combined with our digital marketing capabilities effectively target undergraduate, graduate, international or transfer student markets to help you meet your enrollment goals. In our presentation, we will share best practices gleaned from our experience that enrollment and admissions personnel can implement immediately.

 3. C) Everybody Struggles: Transfer Student Adjustment, Transition, and Mental Health: Rachel Daltry, Psy.D., Psychologist/Assistant Professor West Chester University

This presentation is for those university personnel that interact with transfer students and are interested in the unique emotional and mental health needs of these students. We will discuss our research findings regarding differences between transfer and nontransfer students on mental health factors, social involvement, and academic success as well as the transfer student population based on when and from where students transferred. Presentation will use powerpoint and discussion.

Transfer students are a significant subset of the college student population and it is important for campuses to be attuned to their clinical needs. According to the U.S. Department of Education, almost 60% of college students attend more than one university (Adelman, 2006; Peter & Forrest Cataldi, 2005). Additionally, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, one third of students who started at 2-year public institutions and 13% of students who started at 4-year public institutions finished at institutions other than the one where they first enrolled (Shapiro, Dundar, Wakhungu, Yuan, & Harrell, 2015). Transfer students may have diverse reasons for transferring, such as difficulties with adjustment at original institution, changed finances, new career goals, or simply advancing from community college to a 4-year institution. Clearly, a large number of students are transferring and it is important that colleges address their specific needs, which may differ from nontransfer students. Research on the transfer student adjustment process has primarily focused on academic experiences, with a particular emphasis on grade point averages (GPAs) and retention rates. Our focus is unique in that we focus on the psychological factors that impact the transfer transition and adjustment process.


Thank you for your interest in the 2017 TAAC Conference!


The members of the Transfer Admissions and Advising Committee

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Completing the Sentence: A Transfer Student Experience

Author: Danielle Iannelli, M.Ed., Transfer Student Services Coordinator at Florida Atlantic University


 Transfer Student Services – A Backstory:

Florida Atlantic University is a public four-year research institution with over 30,000 students, and six regional campuses.  Out of those 30,000 students, half of the population is comprised of transfer students.  Of that, 52.3% are part-time students and 95.8% are commuter students.  Additionally, 55.4% of these students fall between the ages of 18-24 years old (Data Source: FAU Institutional Effectiveness and Analysis Dashboards).  By evaluating this data, it was evident that FAU needed and wanted to define how the university was going to “work with transfer students…”.

“Working with transfer students is…”

This is a sentence we have all worked to complete in our own individual way, whether that is in Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, or Enrollment Management.  Some individuals in the Higher Education field complete this sentence with words like “exciting” and “invigorating”, whereas others may say, “challenging”.  Working in the transfer field, individuals like myself have learned that the way in which we complete this sentence truly defines the environment we are creating for our transfer student population.

Working with Transfer Students starts with creating a Campus Conversation

The foundation of the Transfer Student Services Office at FAU began with conversations regarding the significance of our transfer students. The FAU campus conversation started with guidance from the Vice President for Student Affairs. The VPSA provided leadership and support for key stakeholders to research transfer services at other institutions.  This led to the Student Affairs funded Transfer Transition staff. Following this, the Transfer Transition staff expanded into the Transfer Student Services Center via a partnership between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs.  

In 2016, the campus conversation propelled further with the development of the Transfer Taskforce. This taskforce reviews and establishes best practices for working with a transfer student population. For example, the taskforce delves into current systematic policies and procedures and evaluates the impact they may have on the transfer student experience.  The dedication of the FAU leadership, the passion from the original Transfer Transition staff (as well as current Transfer Student Services staff), and the commitment from the Transfer Taskforce have continued to ignite a powerful conversation at FAU on transfer student needs.

The transfer student conversation(s) continue daily in the Transfer Student Services Center (TSS).  The TSS Center, as mentioned above, began through a partnership between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs (See: Graphic to Left).

The TSS center is comprised of a Transfer Admissions Coordinator, a Transfer Student Services Coordinator, and a Transfer Advising Coordinator.  The TSS Center was given the task of assisting prospective, incoming, and current transfer students through the entirety of their transition into FAU. As a team, the TSS Center has the ability to guide transfer students through the application and admissions process, advise them on their credit equivalencies and major declaration, aid them in finding their community at the university, and advocate their needs as transfer “Owl-lies” (Note: FAU’s mascot is an Owl). 

As transfer “Owl-lies” the TSS’s, the Transfer Taskforce’s, and the Division’s role is to continue to talk about why transfer students are important, why we must consider their transitional challenges, why we must celebrate their identity, and why we must reframe the definition of a “new student” at FAU. These conversations are the milestones that universities; like FAU, need to have in order to shape a positive and inclusive campus environment for transfer students.  This goal has driven the TSS staff to define our individual roles as “Owl-lies” by finishing our own individual sentences…

Finding the End of My Sentence:

Working with transfer students is Challenging”

In my role as the Transfer Student Services Coordinator, I use the Theory of Transition to influence the relationships I have with transfer students.  In Schlossberg’s Theory of Transition, it is explained that a “transition exists only if it is so defined by the individual experiencing it” (Evans, Forney, Guido, Patton, & Renn, 2010, p.215).  This statement immediately brings to mind the challenge I have encountered in my role at FAU: finding and developing a transfer student community. 

The challenge of creating a transfer student community stems from the vast identities that reside within the transfer student population and their own personal definition of transition. These students may have a number of obligations: taking care of families, working full-time, balancing commuting and taking classes, and even finding their footing after taking time off from academics.  Transfer students do not always have the luxury of identifying themselves as a “transfer student going through a transition”.  There are days where their other identities must take priority.

Through the programs I led, I have witnessed the cognitive dissonance that these students experience in balancing these identities.  While attendance at these events has not been astronomical, it is not the lack of attendance that stays with me.  Instead, it is the conversations I have with those students who are unable to attend the events.  I constantly hear that a specific time does not work because it conflicts with their work schedule or that they are only on campus for a few hours and cannot afford to spare an hour away from their academics.  I have learned that the challenge in creating a transfer student community lies in meeting our students where they are.  Despite facilitating programming (in both virtual and in-person components) and hosting programs at various times and days of the week, I have yet to find exactly where my transfer students are.  This taught me that working with transfer students is challenging, but that the challenge is important. 

Working with transfer students is Important”

The importance of working with transfer students is something that began for me through my own transfer experience.  After transferring from a small four-year private vocational institution to a mid-sized four-year public institution, I became aware of the importance of helping students like myself succeed.  As a young college student, I did not realize I was falling prey to transfer shock.  My feelings of inadequacy as a student, my confusion about my student status, and my lack of community, were all a direct result of that shock.  Fortunately, this personal experience led me down a path in Higher Education where I have had the opportunity to share my personal story, advocate for transfer students, and much more.  Most recently, this path led me to my current Transfer Student Services Coordinator role.  Here I am continuously reminded of the importance in advocating for this population, as well as the importance of affirming their fears, emotions, and confusion.

Advocating for transfer students and affirming this population in their decision to transfer, stems from the overarching impact of transfer student stereotypes.  Reframing and correcting transfer student stereotypes is one of the prominent roles of any transfer office.  In our staff retreat, we dedicated the majority of our time to discussing these stereotypes and deciphering where they may stem from. 

One stereotype we focused on was the misconception that transfer students hold a ‘too cool for school’ persona and are perceived to ‘not want to be at the institution’.  Through evaluating this stereotype we discerned that this generalization stems from staff at institutions being expert blind.  In other words, faculty and staff and are not questioning themselves and their established actions, which is a hindrance to new transfer students.  For example, a faculty member may not take the time to explain basic procedures in upper level courses, such as reviewing the syllabus or the online course modules, because it may be assumed that all of the upper-level students should know those by now.  This assumption, may lead transfer students to disassociate with their faculty and as a result exhibit this misunderstood ‘too cool for school’ persona.  

This example is one of many that our staff found, but it was through this reframing process that we were reminded of the importance in both advocating for this population and educating the campus community on how to best serve transfer students.  At our staff retreat we were reminded that working with transfer students is indeed important and that we must not forget the meaning behind why we are working with these students. 

Working with transfer students is Meaningful”

“You’re the first person who has sat down with me and answered all my questions”

 –Transfer Student

“You saved my life!”

 –Transfer Student

“I am going to look at graduate schools at FAU because of how great your service was.”

 –Transfer Student

“After getting an individual phone call from [a Transfer Staff member] and hearing how warm and welcoming she was, I immediately changed my decision to transfer to [a different Florida Institution] and decided to transfer to FAU!”

–Transfer Student

“Thank you for your support and I’m so glad to have you as our Transfer Advisor! I am hopeful in our goal and to have students providing support for each other and making everyone feel better in their transition to FAU.”

–Transfer Student

(Please note: some quotes have been adlibbed for the purposes of this blog)

Working with transfer students can be challenging.  At times, that challenge can overshadow the meaning behind why we are working these students.  The quotes above are from transfer students who have worked with the staff in our Transfer Student Services Office over the past seven months at FAU.  These students remind us of the meaning behind guiding a student through their transition. 

Transfer students, like the ones above, are experiencing their own personal challenges and we must remember that their transitional challenges are ones that we can help to alleviate.  Although we may not be able to help prevent any of their personal challenges we can help provide them with the support they need to succeed academically.  It is important to remember that we are the advocates, the voice, the allies, and the support for these students.  

Therefore, the “why” for my role and myself became clear:  I am helping this population, because they need my support and voice to succeed.  I am working with transfer students because it is meaningful.

Completing The Sentence:

Through the variety of my roles of being a transfer student, working alongside transfer Higher Education professionals, and becoming a Higher Education Professional, I’ve seen and witnessed the challenge, the importance, and the meaning of guiding transfer students through their transition into a new university and a new community.  This multifaceted transfer student experience is one that drives us to passionately and excitedly complete the sentence of “working with transfer students is…”.  At Florida Atlantic University and in the Transfer Student Services Center, we finish that sentence differently on a daily basis, but our vision remains the same: to create a welcoming and inclusive experience for all of our transfer students.  In conclusion, I urge you all to consider: How do you and your university complete the sentence?


Danielle Iannelli, M.Ed., serves as the Transfer Student Services Coordinator at Florida Atlantic University.  In this position, Danielle works to create an inclusive transfer student community via planning programs, facilitating workshops, collaborating across campus with various offices, and continuing the conversation about transfer students.  She began working in the Transfer & Transition field of Higher Education after she herself transferred to a new institution as an undergraduate student.  Danielle is involved with and attends many national conferences focused on the transfer experience, such as the National Institute of Transfer Students, and The Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention Conference.  Danielle holds a B.S. in Communication Studies from Appalachian State University, and a M.Ed. from the University of Georgia.  To contact Danielle, you can email her at:


Evans, N.J., Forney, D.S., & Guido, F.M., Patton, L.D. & Renn, K.A. (2010). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

FAU Institutional Effectiveness and Analysis Dashboards