Reflections from the 2017 IACAC Transfer Summit
Why would an out-of-state admissions representative attend?
Northern Michigan University
The question of the day posed to me at the recent IACAC Transfer Summit was, “Why would an out-of-state admissions representative attend?” Although a good deal of the focus was on encouraging students to transfer into other Illinois institutions, there was valuable information to be gained. A number of us represented out-of-state institutions where Illinois students often continue their education. The transfer population is one that can no longer be swept aside for any university. When one of out of every seven students that apply will be a transfer student, it is a reality that is undeniable. And if the average yield rate for transfer students is 23% higher than freshmen students, it is a population that cannot be ignored.
I entered the summit unsure what to expect. My first session of choice was about the future of DACA, an issue I hold close to my heart into today’s world. Dr. Aliza Gilbert of Highland Park High School and Eric Ruiz of University of St. Francis provided a wide variety of valuable information as well as a plethora of handouts. I feel much better prepared to serve DACA and undocumented students. The second set of sessions included options like Effective Community College Partnerships; Joining Forces to Best Serve Transfer Students; and Creating a Transfer Website/Checklist. A third and fourth set of sessions further expanded on these topics including Academic Partnerships, Reverse Transfer, Initiatives in Illinois, and several others.
The day ended with a networking opportunity for a variety of different groups. College of DuPage and the IACAC Transfer Ad Hoc Committee hosted an enlightening and memorable event. Although I may be fighting against the idea of keeping students in Illinois, when it comes down to it, I was reminded that we are all out for the best interest of our students. Whether a freshmen student or transfer student, I love that IACAC sees each student as an individual. Having more tools in my toolbox to assist transfer students in general was well worth the investment of time and minimal registration fee.
I resonated with her personal experience of having been a community college student herself
Having been a community college counselor for 15 years and a member for IACAC & NACAC for many years, I was excited about the first Transfer Summit last year and looked forward to it being an annual event. This year did not disappoint!
The day began with a keynote speech from Julie Marlatt, Dean of Enrollment Management at Parkland College. I resonated with her personal experience of having been a community college student herself. I began my college coursework at Triton College, which is where I now work with students from the time of admissions through helping them transfer to a college or university, or enter their career with an AAS degree. Julie reminded us of the valuable role that Community College plays within the higher education community. From this beginning of the day, there were four sets of breakout sessions which offered a variety of topics. I selected a session on Northern Illinois University Service Centers in several community college sites, Creating Community College Partnerships, Creating a Win: Successful Academic Partnerships and STEM Pathways for Underrepresented Racial Minorities. Each of these sessions created a greater vision of how I can continue to build strong relationships with local colleges & universities which are the primary schools that our students are interested in. These sessions were valuable for both community college attendees as well as those from four-year institutions.
Another favorite part of the day for me was the opportunity to talk with representatives from many different universities. While I know many of them, I connected with several colleagues who are new acquaintances. Even old acquaintances are people that I do not get to catch up with as often as I would like. These new connections gave me the personal contact that will be beneficial for my students in the future.
The day concluded with a best practices and networking group discussion. Gaining ideas and perspectives from others encouraged me to continue to build Triton’s counseling services in ways that enhance our student success. Isn’t that what we are all about? I can’t wait for IACAC’s annual conference in April and, of course, next year’s Transfer Summit!