Open to change

New events being held for transfer students

Many students transfer to Ferris each semester, such as secondary education senior Olivia Pahl, who transferred last year from Lansing Community College (LCC).

After earning scholarships to attend Ferris, Pahl said the transfer process was easy for her.

“I think it was pretty easy. We had a University Center at LCC, and there was a person there that I would just go and talk to every couple weeks and make sure I was on the right track, and make sure I had everything filled out that I needed to,” Pahl said. “All of my classes transferred and I didn’t have any issues with that.”

However, the transfer process is not always so simple. Ferris nursing junior Rebecca Welsh began her first semester here this fall after transferring from Muskegon Community College, and said she had a hard time making contact.

“It was easy once you actually got ahold of someone. I had a really hard time. I called for about two weeks before I even got a real person. I kept getting voicemails and no one would call me back, so I feel like that was the hardest part about transferring to Ferris was trying to get a hold of someone without driving up here,” Welsh said.

Ferris Director of the Office of Transfer and Secondary School Partnerships DeeDee Stakley began working at the university in 2011 and built the transfer program from the ground up. The office hosted their first event at Ferris to celebrate National Student Transfer week Thursday, Oct. 18. Transfer students were given refreshments, snacks and the opportunity to mingle.

“What’s exciting about celebrating Transfer Students Week is that transfer students are unique. They have different needs; they come with different experiences than our traditional first-year students,” Stakley said. “Having an opportunity to join a nationwide effort to celebrate transfer students helps our transfer students to feel like they’re a part of something larger, and that they’re valued.”

Stakley said that she has many plans to implement into the program, including transfer student ambassadors, a newsletter and a campus tour specifically for transfer students.

Due to the unique nature of transfer students, they often face a different set of challenges on campus.

“I didn’t know anybody coming here, and I was living off campus, so you don’t have that traditional freshman-in-the-dorm experience where you meet people,” Pahl said. “I wish that there would’ve been more welcome events for transfer students. There was a lot of freshman stuff
and I felt really left out, because I never got that experience, and especially because I don’t live on campus, I literally never got any of that.”

Still, many Ferris transfer students adjust well to the campus and feel at home after arriving.

“It’s big enough where you can still get lost, but small enough where you can have an impact on campus. I’m from the Lansing area, so Michigan State University is huge and you’re not important in any way, but it’s not like that here,” Pahl said.

Both Pahl and Welsh advise other transfer students to get involved with clubs and activities.

“ Really try to get involved, because I didn’t know anyone outside of my friends group from home, so I joined a couple RSOs and went to youth groups on campus. So, that really helped me to broaden my horizons and get to know people,” Welsh said.

Transfer students are encouraged to contact with any questions, concerns or suggestions.