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Smoothing the Transition for Transfer Students

Smoothing the Transition for Transfer Students

Posted: February 28, 2018

About a third of Buffalo State’s incoming undergraduate students are transfer students. Amy Runfola, assistant director of transfer admissions, is excited because the college now offers a Transfer Center to help these students succeed—even before they take their first class.

“I really enjoy working with these students,” she said. “I met one student who was born in 2000, and another who’s 70 years old. Each situation is unique and personal.”

Many of the questions are similar, though. “When students first apply,” said Runfola, “they want to know what credits will transfer.” Many students also want information about being accepted into a particular major.

While the Transfer Center doesn’t offer academic advisement, Runfola and her staff can help students determine what to do to get into their preferred major. “We can show them ways to improve their GPA or earn more credit hours,” she said. “We can also let them know if they need to complete prerequisite courses.”

Students who have completed an associate’s degree are focused on graduating from Buffalo State. In those cases, if a student has a high GPA and solid coursework, Runfola might contact an academic department to see if the student could be admitted to a major.

The Transfer Center staff includes Runfola, two transfer admission counselors, and a transfer articulation adviser who addresses questions about what courses can be transferred and what academic requirements they fulfill. “If we don’t know, we can find answers,” said Runfola. “We don’t want these students to be bounced back and forth.”

In addition to one-on-one guidance, the Transfer Center holds events for potential and accepted transfer students. “We had a pilot transfer pre-advisement event here, and we showed everyone how to activate Banner and their e-mail account,” said Runfola. “We also helped them sign up for orientation, introduced them to Degree Works, and showed them a pre-registration tutorial.”

Whether working with individuals or groups, the goal is the same: to help transfer students become familiar and comfortable with Buffalo State. “Transfer students by definition have earned college credit after high school,” she said. “But all colleges are different, and students aren’t familiar with our processes.”

It’s important that the Transfer Center is available to offer guidance to transfer students because many services available to incoming students are not available during breaks. But for many transfer students, that’s the only convenient time to look into other colleges.

“We work with transfer students from their application to their first day of class,” Runfola said. “We are very open to partnerships on campus, so please contact me.” Runfola can be reached at runfolar@buffalostate.edu or (716) 878-4017. 

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