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Building a Better Transfer Community: Improving Engagement and Advising of Prospective Transfer Students

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Two-year College Division: Authors Address Transfer Matters-Part II

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.296.1 - 26.296.15



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Paper Authors


Kim Goodwin Roberts North Carolina State University

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Dr. Kim G. Roberts is the Coordinator of Transfer Admissions for NC State’s College of Engineering. Prior to this role, she was the Biotechnology Research Director for Alditri, Inc. Currently, she works with hundreds of transfer students in every stage of the enrollment funnel and also serves as their primary advisor post-transfer. She liaises with dozens of NC community college and Two-Plus-Two/Three-Plus-Two partners. As a lecturer and advisor, she is also a primary contributor to the Engineering First Year program at NC State. Kim earned her Bachelor’s degrees from NC State and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware.

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Tuere Bowles North Carolina State University

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Dr. Bowles is an expert in educational research, evaluation, and dissemination/translation of knowledge in NC State’s College of Education. She also supervises research experiences for undergraduates.

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Jerome P. Lavelle North Carolina State University

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Building a Better Transfer Community: Improving engagement and advising of prospective transfer studentsThe College of Engineering at NC State has consistently admitted 200-300 transfer students eachacademic year over the past decade. These students ultimately make up about one quarter of thegraduating class in the College of Engineering each year. During this time, annual reports fromthe College of Engineering regularly reported that approximately 50% of engineering transferstudents transferred from one of the 58 institutions in the North Carolina Community College(NC CC) system. This data was extracted from the Office of Admissions database, whichreports only the last institution attended, as listed by the transfer applicant.Over the summer/fall 2013 (n=259) and summer/fall 2014 (n=293) transfer cohorts, we collecteddata on all institutions attended by admitted transfers students and learned that 70% of transferstudents each year have previously enrolled at a NC CC. Yet, very few resources were devotedspecifically to educating and recruiting prospective transfer students from NC CC’s. Instead,students and advisors have historically relied almost entirely on information provided on the NCState website. On these websites, transfer requirements and engineering curricula are providedalong with a NC CC equivalency worksheet to assist with course selection prior to transfer.The College of Engineering has been the beneficiary of strong 3+2 dual degree and 2+2partnerships (TPT’s) with institutions like Elon University, Meredith College and the Universityof North Carolina at Wilmington. Students transferring from these institutions are providedhigh-quality advising and enjoy a high acceptance rate due to the strong communicationpathways between the College of Engineering and the pre-engineering advisors at these partnerinstitutions. The students at the local North Carolina Community College, Wake TechnicalCommunity College, also benefit from accurate, high-quality advising due in large part to thediligence of their pre-engineering advisor who is able to attend advising meetings and stay inregular contact with Engineering Academic Affairs.Inspired by the success of these strong relationships with our TPT partners and motivated by NCState’s strategic plan to expand the proportion of transfer students, the College of Engineeringteamed with the College of Education at NC State. We established initiatives aimed directly atNC CC’s and their communities: 1) to disseminate accurate information regarding engineering atNC State and 2) to develop a valuable network of higher education institutions in North Carolina.In addition to promoting the transfer of high quality students into engineering at NC State, ourgoal was to improve their retention and performance. In this paper, we detail the strategies weemployed to achieve these goals, including programming and publications created by the Collegeof Engineering, targeted solely to NC CC students and advisors. We describe key components ofthe efforts, share feedback from our NC CC colleagues and transfer students, and discuss bestpractices for other institutions seeking to create or strengthen their ties with community colleges.

Roberts, K. G., & Bowles, T., & Lavelle, J. P. (2015, June), Building a Better Transfer Community: Improving Engagement and Advising of Prospective Transfer Students Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23635

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015