By Amanda Doepke, Southern Illinois University
As a first time IACAC Conference attendee, I wasn’t sure how beneficial it would be for my professional development. I primarily recruit transfer students, and most gatherings I’ve attended in the last couple of years have been primarily or solely geared toward recruiting traditional first year students. I’ve been happy to absorb that information, as it is also important and proves beneficial along the way as I grow myself and my territory, but spending a few days away from the office in order to learn about first year recruitment would have, honestly, been a disappointment.
I was pleased to find The Extraordinary Transfer Visit as a session on Thursday’s agenda, presented by Rachel Caracci of Illinois State University, Katy Saalfeld of Northern Illinois University, and Shawn Wochner or Western Illinois University. Having worked with Katy in a recruitment capacity, I know to expect that anything she’s chosen to do will be done with excellence and confidence, and that was surely the case at conference.
It was refreshing to be able to listen as representatives of other institutions shared similar failed experiences and how they have overcome obstacles specific to serving transfer students.
This session focused on the practices of three institutions in recruiting transfer students, but also had a great deal of open discussion. It was refreshing to be able to listen as representatives of other institutions shared similar failed experiences and how they have overcome obstacles specific to serving transfer students. Great ideas were shared that my institution is now moving forward to implement, and the whole session felt like a rejuvenating breath of fresh air. Rachel, Katy, and Shawn presented with humility and humor, but also with a great deal of valuable information that they had obviously invested their time in developing. I left the session feeling as though I had learned from three of the best, and was refreshed and ready to deliver excellent service to the students with whom I work.