Myth: Transfer students don’t need academic advising.
Truth: Working with an advisor/counselor helps ensure student success!
Advisors/counselors can help differentiate between transfer programs and non-transfer programs; help students identify the most efficient path to their intended degree; inform students of transfer planning tools; verify requirements for specific majors, which change over time; determine what classes will meet those requirements; and connect students with resources for transfer admission.
Myth: Community college classes won’t transfer to meet four-year degree requirements.
Truth: Many community college courses are equivalent to university courses, receiving all the benefits of having taken them at the university.
Illinois colleges and universities continually evaluate courses for transfer in order to ensure students get the appropriate credit. In cases where there is not an equivalent course at the four-year, classes may still be accepted in transfer to meet general education requirements, graduation requirements, general elective credit or major elective credit. Illinois colleges and universities have made this information available to students through TransferologyTM – a free, online transfer-information tool.
Myth: Transfer students lose a lot of credit.
Truth: Credit can flow seamlessly if students plan well to ensure classes fulfill degree requirements in their desired major.
The best way to do ensure credits apply is to work with an advisor/counselor toward the students’ academic goals. There are many transfer programs available to keep students on track in selecting credit that will count, such as IAI general education courses, 2+2 agreements, pathway programs, guaranteed admission transfer programs and other transfer partnerships.
Myth: Transfer students can’t graduate on time.
Truth: Transfer students can move toward their degrees at the same rate as students who start at a four-year.
If students attend full-time and plan their coursework carefully they can graduate “on time.” Navigating a course plan that keeps students on track to bachelor degree completion in four years is challenging if students don’t have good information. The best way to accomplish a successful transfer is to work closely with an advisor on course selection, “series courses” – courses that should be taken as a package at a single institution, and prerequisite course completion. Sometimes it is in the student’s best interest to transfer before earning the associate degree. In those cases students can use “reverse transfer” to finish associate degree requirements.
Myth: Transfer students are less successful than other students.
Truth: At Illinois public universities transfer students complete their bachelor degrees at equal or higher rates than native students.
Illinois ranks 3rd in the nation for completion rate of full-time community college students earning a bachelor’s degree.
Myth: Transfer students have limited choices.
Truth: Illinois is home to a diverse and extensive group of colleges and universities.
There are 12 public universities, 48 community colleges, more than 95 independent not-for-profit and 25 independent for-profit higher education institutions. Approximately 100 of those colleges and universities participate fully in the Illinois Articulation Initiative to guarantee transferability and applicability of general education courses as a package.
Myth: Transfer students are not a priority in Illinois.
Truth: Illinois has long invested in the success of transfer students.
The Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois Community College Board, Illinois Legislature and Illinois’ many colleges and universities invest deeply in the success of transfer students. The Illinois Transfer Coordinator group meets semiannually to address a variety of transfer issues, collaborate on solutions, and ensure communication among institutions. The Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) is an agreement among approximately 100 participating colleges and universities to accept a “package” of general education courses in transfer in lieu of their own comparable general education requirements. The iTransfer.org website is a transfer information portal. Illinois MyCreditsTransfer provides access and support for the use of a free, online transfer advising tool. The Finish Up Illinois council was established in 2015 to help identify and remove barriers to degree completion in Illinois.
Myth: Transfer students won’t fit in.
Truth: Institutions offer many resources to help transfer student connect.
Finding the best fit financially, academically and socially is as important for transfer students as it is to incoming freshmen. Institutions offer campus visits, open houses, transfer student days, transfer student orientation programs, housing designed for transfer students’ needs, student organizations, clubs and other involvement opportunities for transfer students.