Parker Erickson (shown left) is a remarkable undergraduate student. He is a center on the Utah football team who has earned a 4.0 GPA. With the full endorsement of the university, he recently submitted a Rhodes Scholar application. Parker is also a transfer student, joining the U after studying at both Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) and Snow College.
I suspect that you recognize that the University of Utah serves many transfer students, primarily from SLCC but including a wide range of institutions. Last year, transfer students earned roughly half of the baccalaureate degrees awarded by the U.
What you may not realize is that transfer students are highly successful at the U, with graduation rates of nearly 70% for those who join us after completing 58 or more credit hours at another institution.
Transfer students bring remarkable and diverse talents and backgrounds to the U, and they face unique challenges as they work through the logistics of transfer in pursuit of their academic aims. I’ve recently asked a working group of faculty, staff, and students to help us improve the transfer process, work effectively and creatively with partner institutions, and meet the needs of this high talent, high potential population. The group is chaired by Professor Kent Ono and Associate Director Teri Clawson, and includes leaders from across the campus. Here is the working group’s charge letter.
Like Parker, I transferred institutions twice on my path to a baccalaureate degree, surely an unconventional journey for a future higher education leader. In the process, I learned quite a bit about the challenges associated with attending more than one institution, from navigating degree requirements and transfer credit to building a sense of belonging in a university. My own experiences as a transfer student motivated my work with Lumina Foundation on implementing strategies that facilitate transfer and success for community college students moving to research universities.
We are a university enriched by our transfer students and by our relationships with partner institutions of higher education, particularly our colleagues at SLCC. We also want to be a “transfer friendly” university, implementing best practices as we recruit and educate transfer students who become noteworthy alums. Thank you for your contributions to enhancing this vital aspect of the U of U mission.