Making transferring easy

GVSU recognized for support of community college students

By Jenna Fracassi | 3/22/17 10:06pm

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GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Students walk around Grand Valley's Allendale campus on Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2017.

by Kevin Sielaff / Grand Valley Lanthorn

Grand Valley State University has been chosen as a member of Phi Theta Kappa’s 2017 Transfer Honor Roll, which recognizes the university’s support of community college transfers.

GVSU is one of 63 institutions nationwide to be recognized for this honor.

Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Students walk around Grand Valley's Allendale campus on Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2017.

Bonnie Ulmer-DeGraves, associate director of admissions for transfer and orientation, said GVSU provides pre-advising resources to ensure that students have a seamless transfer process.

“We have the transfer guides that we post on our homepage for students that are at Michigan community colleges,” she said. “These would show them, based on their major, what classes they would take at the community college that would transfer into the first two years of a program here.”

Students may be concerned that the classes they are taking will not transfer when they transition to a four-year college. These resources allow students to check course transferability specific to which college they are attending.

The curriculum guide can be found at /www.gvsu.edu/admissions/curriculum-guides.htm, and the course equivalencies website can be found at www.gvsu.edu/studentapps/mtn/.

Doug Grevious transferred to GVSU from Muskegon Community College in 2015. He is currently finishing his final semester at the university as a multimedia journalism major with an emphasis in broadcasting.

“The resources I found the most helpful were the ones at Grand Valley,” Grevious said. “I found it to be better to just contact GV and ask them what documents they needed along with what steps I had to take.”

He described the transfer process as an easy one, saying the GVSU admissions staff was very helpful in making sure he completed all the required steps.

“While transferring, I made sure to keep in contact with GV, making sure they were receiving my papers,” Grevious said. “While the transfer was happening, I came to GV for orientation, where I scheduled my classes and received my ID. Not long after that, my transfer was approved.”

In an effort to further support transfer students, GVSU holds a variety of workshops at community colleges. These provide students with an opportunity to talk directly to GVSU faculty members and ask any questions they may have.

“We really do spend a lot of time at the community colleges and make sure the students are really ready for the transfer,” Ulmer-DeGraves said.

One of the main concerns students have when transferring is financial aid. For this reason, GVSU does a financial aid workshop to explain the differences between financial aid at a two-year college and financial aid at a four-year college.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Academic Advising Center also does a pre-professional workshop where advisors begin working with students to let them know what it’s going to take for them to get accepted into professional schools.

“We have an advisor at Grand Rapids Community College, which is really our main feeder school for community colleges,” Ulmer-DeGraves said. “We have someone there from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Tuesday to meet with potential students and make sure they’re on the right path for transferring into Grand Valley.”

Additionally, in an effort to increase degree completion, GVSU was the first to sign reverse transfer agreements with all 28 community colleges in Michigan. This allows students to earn their associate’s degree while pursuing a bachelor’s degree program at GVSU.

For more information about Phi Theta Kappa’s 2017 Transfer Honor Roll, visit www.ptk.org/Scholarships/TransferHonorRoll.aspx.

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