On the evening of January 24, days before the majority of students would be flocking back to Miami’s campus, freshman Connor Catlett arrived before he even had a dorm to stay in. A transfer student from the University of Georgia, the new RedHawk ended up sleeping on a friend of a friend’s couch the night before his freshman transfer orientation.
Double-majoring in psychology and English, Catlett says as soon as he arrived at Miami (at the recommendation of his best friend, whose parents are both alumni), he knew it was a better fit for him.
“I just realized that Georgia was too big for me,” Catlett said. “The general feel of Miami is a lot better. At Georgia it was more impersonal, like if I wanted to get in contact with someone about activities on campus it’s a lot harder than here.”
While Catlett has only been in Oxford for a couple weeks, he has already had a positive experience. He met two other transfer students while moving in whom he bonded with over their unique situation.
“I definitely think that being here at Miami will help me to improve my studies,” Catlett said.
Each spring semester Miami receives around 100 transfer students, as opposed to the 200 to 300 that transfer in the fall, according to Emilee Suchomski, assistant director of admissions and transfer coordinator. However, whether or not the student transferred in the fall semester or spring makes virtually no difference in regards to retention rates.
The application process for transfer students is different than a typical first-year application as Miami faculty looks at different factors when considering transfer students. For instance, they must look at their previous college accomplishments and how many credit hours the student completed at their time of application.
“We consider many variables and how they have an impact on the student’s achievements and demonstrated potential,” said Suchomski. “In an application, we look for a challenging curriculum, involvement in school and the community, as well as diverse perspectives.”
Although the application process is different for transfer students, junior Meghan Aldredge, who transferred to Miami from Sinclair Community College between her first and second years, said Miami does well at ensuring a smooth process.
“The process of transferring wasn’t a memorable problem for me, it was actually more smooth than what I thought,” said Aldredge. “I had to file a few pieces of paperwork, make a few calls and present a few legal documents, but other than that there was nothing that Miami did to complicate the process.”
Miami takes a number of measures to ensure students have a smooth transition to campus. Several services are designed specifically to assist transfer students, including an orientation that all transfer students are required to attend.
“Transfer UNV 101: I am Miami” is an optional class students can take to learn about faculty expectations, student-faculty interactions, the history of Miami and its traditions, campus resources, goal-setting, academic planning and getting involved on campus.
A transfer student social is held the Sunday before classes start each semester, and workshops are offered at the beginning of each semester to discuss the basics of attending Miami and answer transfer students’ questions. In addition, a staff member from the Student Success Center works with new transfer students to assist them in their transition.
While the process for transferring is the same whether the student begins taking classes in the fall or spring semester, the process usually happens much more quickly in the spring. One benefit of transferring for the spring semester is that students interested in Greek Life can begin recruitment at the beginning of the semester.
Transferring universities can be a life-changing experience for students. Those who come to Oxford feel as though attending Miami will help them reach their full potential — the way they’re received here only helps to reinforce that idea.
“The opportunities for professional development and the drive of most professors to see you succeed to the farthest degree possible just adds to student motivation here,” Aldredge said.