Event targets transfer students

Students and faculty “strike” a pose at Wednesday’s Student Transfer Pow Wow Meet and Greet. Photo credit: Tenisha Ferron

After last year’s virtual meeting, the Transfer Student Pow Wow Meet & Greet event took place in person this Wednesday and welcomed more than 100 incoming transfer and returning students to the event, and over 400 for the Fall 2021 semester.

Founded in August 2014 by the Transfer Academic Success Program Office, coordinator Sheila Martin says the purpose of the event is to assist incoming students transfer into the university with seamless transition, retention and overall academic success, while enhancing social experience. The program discussed multiple transfer student resources one can reach to help students graduate on time, such as the Transfer Student Association (TSA), academic coaching, tutor services, transfer peer mentoring, financial aid, and disability access.

Associate Provost Lewis Johnson says transfer students are important to the university when looking at admission, retention and graduation rates.

“We pay attention to the metrics. As a transfer student, you are needed to graduate within two years. The more incoming transfers with positive graduation rates we have, is also what places Florida A&M the highest ranked historically Black college and university (HBCU),” he said.

The number of transfer students for the fall semester has nearly doubled this year, compared to last year. While students are here, they were encouraged by Brenda Spencer, director of the student success center and the Transfer Success program, to get involved in campus life and activities. Joined by Tau Sigma National Honor Society, Zion Lampley and Stephanie Peters also said joining the honor society can improve career paths for students.

Lauryn Stoney, a third-year chemistry pre-medical student and peer mentor, says she enjoyed every bit of the event, and feels the meet and greet could be the one opportunity that pushes students to become their best.

“Students were also able to put their business out there and showcase their talents,”  she said. “We are here to encourage, uplift and build the support students need, which is what makes us so different from other schools.”

With the campus returning to in-person classes, students may experience more stress than normal, or an early burnout as they adjust after attending virtual classes for about a year. TSA offers a tutoring program to help alleviate that stress. Sessions are 30 minutes and  held bi-weekly, along with coaching sessions and workshops.

However, it can be difficult as one tries to enjoy campus life, especially after a yearlong hiatus.

Psychology major Brittany Matthews, who is now a senior, says she attended the event due to missing the meet and greet last year.

“I feel like I missed most of campus life because of COVID, and now that I’m on my way out, I’m trying to attend everything I can. I saw the Set for the first time, and apparently it was the last for the semester. It’s either go to everything, or don’t and miss out.”

While all resources are available, there is no reason a student should leave the university failing or feel like the help was not offered. From academic advising to counseling services and housing assistance, the academic success program is here to help.

To reach any these resources, catch up on future events, or if you feel like you need help with your academic career, you can confidentially contact The Transfer Academic Success Program office is located on the second floor of the Gore building, in the Undergraduate Student Success Center, or call 850-412-7994.