Transferring to a new school after attending community college or another university may seem daunting. Once a transfer student arrives on campus, they might have different experiences and backgrounds than students who have been at the campus since freshman year. However, when a new transfer sits down for their first class at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), it is likely they are sitting next to another transfer student.
With CSUMB becoming known as a transfer-friendly school, it continues to draw in a large number of transfer students each semester. In Fall 2020, CSUMB reported enrollment of 1,037 transfer students out of a total campus population of 7,417. CSUMB endeavours to support these transfer students once they are admitted.
The Transfer Student Success Center hosted an open house on Zoom where Transfer Student Success Coordinator Jacinto Salazar and student transfer peer mentors gave an overview of the programs they provide to support transfers on Jan. 27 .
Among the programs highlighted was the Transfer Peer Mentor program, which pairs transfer students together to give them academic and social support. Students can apply to this program on a rolling basis with a priority deadline of Feb. 19. More information on the application can be found on their website.
Other programs to support transfer students are virtual front desks to ask questions and connect with other transfers, as well as themed peer mentor study hours where students can have a transfer study buddy to stay on track.
CSUMB is particularly attractive to students attending local community colleges. communication design major Susan (Suzy) Ford said she chose to attend CSUMB because “it seemed natural to transfer from Monterey Peninsula College to CSUMB.”
“The two colleges work with one another to get information to students about CSUMB,” Ford said. Another feature the transfer population is bringing is a diverse age range to CSUMB with 29% of the total population over 25.
“Since I am an ‘older’ student, I didn’t want to insert myself too hard,” Ford said. “However, I made great connections with students in my different classes, once they got to know me and see my personality. I still feel like I’m 21.”
CSUMB attracts students from all over California and further. Transfer student Sandra Garcia is a fourth-year student majoring in liberal studies who transferred from Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.
“I chose to transfer to CSUMB because it’s a good small school,” Garcia said. “I wanted to be able to make connections with my teacher and be able to have one-on-one, in-office hours.” Garcia has become involved in the community by joining the Student California Teachers Association and a sorority.
One thing both transfer students and the staff agree on is the importance of getting involved. Salazar advised to “get involved and stay connected, get engaged often and a lot.” Garcia and Ford echoed his sentiments. “Try new things,” Garcia said. “Join clubs and be a part of our school community. Be involved!”
“It’s important to get to know the campus and all the things CSUMB has to offer them,” Ford said. “The quicker you make connections, the happier you will be as a student.”