TSC seeks to give transfer students the full UA experience
Transferring to the University of Arizona from a smaller college can be full of new experiences, some of which can be challenging for students. The Transfer Student Center at UA has made it a goal to help these transfer students adjust to Wildcat life.
“We exist to help transfer students build community and connect to resources,” said Nikolas Glazier Hodge, the TSC director.
Since most transfer students are not at the UA for a full four years, the TSC aims to help them feel included on campus as quickly as possible, Hodge explained.
Sarah Wilson, a junior marketing major, is one of seven undergraduate TSC assistants. She transferred to UA this semester from Pima Community College and knows transfer students can have differing experiences from other students.
“Students who come here as freshmen have lots of opportunities like staying in dorms and getting acclimated early,” Wilson said. “Transfer students don’t always have that opportunity.”
The TSC also serves as a place for transfer students to meet others like themselves.
“A lot of us are nontraditional students, so it’s a good way to meet people who might not be in the same age range as most students,” Wilson said.
In addition to offering free printing and coffee, the center hosts one or two events each week for transfer students to "make friends and have some fun between classes," Glazier Hodge said. One of the most recent events was a mixer for transfer students to meet each other and mingle with TSC faculty while eating free eegee’s.
“We’re also having a ‘TED Talks & Tacos’ event next Friday for students to watch inspirational TED Talks and eat free food,” said Sachè Thompkins, a senior transfer student assistant who transferred from Grand Canyon University.
The TSC has the largest Faculty Fellows program on campus, with five UA faculty members from engineering, education, math, geology and fine arts.
“They’re faculty that have identified a desire to work with students outside the paradigm of their job. They want to volunteer to hang out with students,” Glazier Hodge said.
These faculty fellows take transfer students on trips each year to places like Topgolf, Winterhaven Festival of Lights, local improv shows, hockey games and even the Grand Canyon to camp and go on a guided tour.
“The Fellows get students out in the community to get them to know Tucson, and our students focus on stuff they can do on campus,” Glazier Hodge said. “And there’s food. We’re always feeding students.”
Transfer students can also get involved in three clubs through the TSC. Transfer Cats in Action, the Transfer Student Advisory Board and the Tau Sigma National Honor Society provide UA transfer students with further opportunities to get involved on campus and with the community.
“We focus on service, social events, professional development, and we provide leadership opportunities,” said Kimberlyn Guzman, the president of Transfer Cats in Action and transfer student from Phoenix College.
TSAB focuses on implementing changes on campus that help transfer students and informing these students about the resources available. Tau Sigma is an invitation-only society that gives full-time transfer students with GPAs over 3.5 access to exclusive scholarship opportunities.
“What I hope to see is that transfer students get the UA experience and the involvement opportunities,” Guzman said. “It’s really important to meet people and get that networking going.”
The TSC hopes to reach more prospective and online transfer students, as well as introduce a peer-to-peer mentoring program going into the future.
“Right now, our model serves mainly traditional on-campus transfer students,” Glazier Hodge said. “We want to broaden our services for our distance and online students, because they deserve this. We want to bring it to them.”
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