When senior Autumn Dancy first stepped foot on Florida A&M University’s campus, she said the feeling vaguely resembled her first day in high school. Surrounded by new faces and an unfamiliar campus, when Dancy transferred colleges, she said it felt like she was starting from scratch.
“At first it felt like my first time at college ever,” Dancy said. “I completely forgot how to function for a second.”
Originally a student at Florida Atlantic University, Dancy transferred universities to dive deeper into her environmental studies. Unhappy with the program at her original institution, Dancy made the move to Tallahassee to access a better curriculum.
“I did my research and decided FAMU was the best option for myself and my future career,” Dancy said.
While Dancy had initial difficulty adjusting to her new routine, she quickly became involved in student life and culture. Dancy joined the Transfer Student Association as well as the Sustainability Club. While the Transfer Student Association helped Dancy learn her way around campus, the Sustainability Club was where she was able to further her academic passion. Now the president of the campus organization, Dancy looks back at the long way she has come since first becoming a FAMU student.
“All it took was putting myself out there,” Dancy said. “After that, my experience on campus started getting a lot better.”
Dancy’s journey is exactly what Transfer Academic Success coordinator Sheila Martin wishes for all transfer students. She said the secret to a successful transfer experience is to participate in activities that align with personal pastimes and interests. She shares advice like this with students looking to make the most out of their transition.
“I work closely with faculty, staff and university student support services to advocate and support transfer students in enhancing their academic journey and social experience,” Martin said.
Outside of social guidance, Martin ensures that transfer students are prepared in the classroom as well. She assists students with finding the documents they need to matriculate smoothly.
“You have three friends that will help you transfer,” Martin said. “That’s your paper curriculum map, FAMU transcripts and the academic module.”
When Martin is not available, officers of the Transfer Student Association also provide their time and services to help their peers. Treasurer Arteria Moore utilizes her own experience as a transfer student to imagine how newly transitioning students feel.
“I remember getting lost on campus so I’m always helping out even if it’s as simple as walking someone to class,” Moore said.
The junior health science major helps coordinate various events for transfer students including workshops and socials. The organization is designed to not only facilitate campus adjustment but also to foster a community of students who understand each other.
“We always make sure to have a big general body meeting at the beginning of the year so everyone can meet each other,” Moore said. “That way at least they can recognize a familiar face around campus.”