UC Davis is growing in some places and shrinking in others.
The University of California Board of Regents announced this month that while 8 percent fewer freshmen will be admitted into UC Davis for fall 2009, the number of transfer students accepted will increase by 2.8 percent.
More transfer students – 50 more than last year for a total of 1,820 – means an increased need for transfer-friendly resources on campus.
“UC Davis transfer students have a limited amount of services in comparison to other UC campuses,” said senior Ivan Carrillo, outgoing ASUCD president who transferred from community college in 2007. “The university needs to follow the trend of every other UC and offer guaranteed housing for all incoming transfers and a full scaled transfer student center.“
The need to better integrate transfer students into the campus community is a reoccurring issue, as many transfer students experience a rough transition when first arriving at UC Davis.
“My transition was a bit nerve-wracking,” said Jonathen Duran, a senior who works as a Transfer Student Orientation Leader for Advising Services. “When I transferred to Davis, I was inundated with a deluge of papers and pamphlets advertising this or that program. The fact is that you have to be pretty methodical and driven to sit and read through all of that and create some semblance of understanding.“
To combat this, Advising Services offers a Transfer Student Services department located in South Hall that coordinates workshops, social events and academic advising to aid transfer students in getting better connected on campus.
“Advising Services has spent a lot of time trying to help incoming and current students by holding seminars that aim to address many transfer issues,” said Allyson Markey, a senior transfer student, and Transfer Student Coordinator for student services. “As the coordinator, I use “Transfer Students Unite!!!” on Facebook to create and advertise events. These events are both social and academic and help the transfer community come together as a group.“
In addition, many campus departments such as the Cross Cultural Center, Women’s Resource and Research Center and Student Recruitment and Retention Center offer programs that specifically target transfer students, and offer mixers, leadership seminars and a number of opportunities to get more involved on campus.
“Anytime you have an increase of non-traditional students it is a benefit to the entire campus,” Carillo said. “Transfer students (non-traditional) increase the diversity of experiences and knowledge from which all students can gain.“
According to Advising Services, one in every four students currently attending UC Davis is considered a transfer student. Within this population, many represent diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic demographics that are traditionally underrepresented within the university system.
“Most transfer students are from underrepresented groups who have not had the historical ability to go to a four year institution,” Markey said. “As a transfer student myself, I know that we add a certain ‘flavor‘ to campus – we are highly motivated and ready to take on any challenges the university throws at us.“
MICHELLE IMMEL can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.