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Transfer students benefit from program collaboration



Transfer students are receiving a more personalized experience through a UA partnership with community colleges around the state.

UA Bridge has partnered with all Pima, Maricopa and Mohave community colleges to make the transition from community college to the UA as easy as possible by involving students early on in the process. The UA Bridge program “is a partnership between several community colleges and the University of Arizona that provides a path to pursuing a bachelor’s degree,” according to the program’s website.

“We’re working toward building something, even in high school,” said Kasey Urquidez, dean of undergraduate admissions. “We try to treat them [transfer students] as a student who wants to be with us whether or not that’s two or three years out.”

Urquidez said it’s never too early for high school seniors who plan to go to community college and start at the UA later to get involved in the UA transfer program, which is currently in its first semester.

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By Lili Steffen / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Lili Steffen / The Daily Wildcat New UA transfer students gather around a table in the Transfer Student Center located on the 4th floor of the Student Union Memorial Center, Monday. The transfer student center has a new program called UA Bridges that connects students from local community colleges to the university.

Paul Miller, senior assistant director of transfer recruitment, said the program helps make the transferring process more personal, as opposed to transfer programs in the past.
“Things were more virtual than real,” Miller said. “We would admit students into the program and they would disappear; we wouldn’t really contact them. This is more intimate because we contact them.”

The idea is to get students involved earlier both on the UA campus as well as the community college campuses. UA representatives visit different colleges and students are invited to the UA to hear more information about campus life and to go on tours.

“We would sit in the Gallagher Theater and hear talks from people about what to expect from here,” said Benjamin Griffith, a transfer student and creative writing senior. Griffith was in the STU210 course at Pima Community College, a class dedicated to preparing students to transfer to the UA.

Although the class is not limited to UA Bridge students, it is mandatory for anyone in the program.
In addition to taking the course, UA Bridge students must also meet with their academic adviser every semester to determine majors.

“We offered an actual program where they can do some major exploration as an activity and then they would attend the career fair to further explore it,” said Crystal Adams, senior coordinator of transfer and veteran recruitment programs.

A developed relationship between transfer students and the UA will help those who are determined to complete the process and make the transition, Miller said.

“Studies have shown that the more vested students are in the institution that they’re transferring to, the more successful they’ll be while they’re here,” Miller added.

The attention to transfer students is something Urquidez said she values and said she believes it will help the UA stand out as a school that really cares about transfer students.

“There’s a lot of focus on the freshman class at most universities,” Urquidez said, “but we want to give just as much attention even to students who couldn’t come to us right out of high school. We want them to know they have a place at the UA.”

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