Success Story: New initiative guides students to goals

September 12 2018

Transfer Tuesdays table and studentIn another effort to remove barriers to student success, NMC this week launched Transfer Tuesdays, a drop-in advising opportunity aimed at the 25 percent of full-time students who will start their degree path here, but finish elsewhere.

“Our goal is to help students save time and money at NMC by helping them to identify their career pathway and academic program as soon as possible, so they don't spend unnecessary time and money,” said Lindsey Dickinson, director of the Advising Center.

In 2016-17, 708 transfers occurred from NMC. The Advising Center organized the seven universities, including six NMC University Center partners, that set up shop in NMC’s Health & Science building for the first time Tuesday.

Picture of Victoria AlfonsecaVictoria AlfonsecaIt was exactly what Victoria Alfonseca needed. She’s in her last semester at NMC and plans to transfer in January. As the mother of a 10-year-old daughter, she wants to stay in Traverse City.

“My family’s here, I was basically raised here, so I’m really glad they offer the University Center here,” said Alfonseca, 30, who chatted Tuesday with a representative from Ferris State University at the UC, where she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business. “It was definitely helpful to get face-to-face, have an actual person to talk to.”

Simply saving students the drive to the UC campus for the meeting knocks down a barrier.

“Sometimes even that small physical barrier is hard to overcome for our students,” Dickinson said.

Carley Hooper of Traverse City said Transfer Tuesdays will help map her path to a veterinary degree. She’ll earn her associate degree from NMC next spring, and needs a bachelor’s that offers specific science classes before she can apply to Michigan State’s graduate program in veterinary medicine. Also a parent off young children, ages 2 and 7, she’s hoping to find online and local classes that will meet her needs, enabling her to postpone an East Lansing move as long as possible.

“I’m definitely interested in a lot of these places,” said Hooper, 27, who was especially intrigued by a Central Michigan University bachelor’s in business program that could help her with her own practice down the road. “I’ll definitely be looking into a lot of these programs to see if they offer the prerequisites for the veterinary program.”

Transfer Tuesdays will continue throughout the fall semester, from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. The drop-in structure eliminates the barrier of scheduling, too. Other NMC services, like math tutoring, have found a drop-in structure, vs. scheduled appointments, increases usage and student success.

NMC will still hold admissions-focused Transfer Fairs twice a year. Transfer Tuesdays allow students to actually meet with advisors at their destination school and make personal academic plans.

“What we really saw was a need to build awareness with our students that transfer planning starts as soon as your first semester here,” Dickinson said.

As she wraps up her NMC career, Alfonseca has some advice to other students to maximize their tuition dollars and time.

“Try to take as many classes as you can at NMC,” she said.

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