Colorado State University Offers Symposium on Transfer Issues for State’s Community Colleges

As more students seeking a college degree choose to begin in community colleges, Colorado State University is increasing its outreach and collaboration with its colleagues around the state. This year, Colorado State’s Office of Admissions added a new Denver-based assistant director position focused on working with metro-area community colleges.

This fall, CSU will partner with the Community College of Aurora and the Community College of Denver to present a Fall Transfer Symposium to increase dialogue among transfer advising professionals interested in helping their students make the transition from community college to university.

The symposium will be held Nov. 4 at the CC-Aurora campus. It will be open to a wide array of advising-related staff at two-year colleges throughout the state and will include remarks from Tony Frank, president of Colorado State, and Linda Bowman, president of Community College of Aurora. The program also will include a keynote presentation from Esther Hugo, a nationally recognized voice for transfer students and the transfer process. Hugo is a former outreach coordinator and counselor at Santa Monica College in California and an adjunct professor with both Loyola Marymount University and the UCLA School of Education.

Staff from CSU and the community colleges also will offer presentations on topics including the holistic admissions process, transfer/course planning, and service to veterans and other unique populations in the transfer community.

“We are happy to help provide this opportunity for dialogue and professional development, and we look forward to learning from and with our community college colleagues during this valuable program,” said Jim Rawlins, executive director of Admissions for Colorado State University.

Colorado State has long provided a supportive experience for transfer students and, since 2008, has taken a number of steps to enhance its outreach and transition services to this important group of students. In 2009, the campus opened a special Transfer Student Center as part of the Office of Admissions. Transfer students now have merit scholarships available as well, with some of those awards set aside especially for members of Phi Theta Kappa, the community college honorary society. In 2010, the campus began offering special weekly informational sessions and tours expressly for transfer students. For a full-day program offered each year, CSU’s Office of Admissions transports Denver-area college students to Fort Collins.

“When transfer students make the decision to apply for admission at a four-year institution, they have different needs than freshmen throughout the admission process,” says Kathy Klein, CSU’s associate director for transfer initiatives in the Office of Admissions. “They have been successful at one institution and need to feel confident that they can complete the transition and be successful at CSU.”

With the increased focus, CSU’s fall 2011 incoming class of 1,573 transfer students marks a 26 percent increase over the past three years, with Colorado residents accounting for 1,190 of the total.

For more than 20 years, Colorado State has offered a guaranteed admission program for students who earn an approved associate’s degree with a 2.0 or higher grade-point average. Overall, students who come to Colorado State from other institutions to complete their bachelor’s degrees account for 5,383 of the 22,300 students on campus, or 24 percent of all undergraduates.