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Task Force Looking at Making Admissions More Transfer Friendly

This fall we welcomed 1,460 transfer students, the largest group we’ve seen in at least a decade—up more than 180 compared to last year. They came from 365 different institutions, including all thirteen Tennessee community colleges.

Read more about this year’s transfer class here.

We want to be the most transfer-friendly university in Tennessee. We are looking at how we evaluate transfer students’ prior course work to ensure they are prepared for the rigors of our classes. We’re also taking steps to improve our efforts to smooth transfer students’ transition to our campus. The efforts are being led by our Transfer Task Force, chaired by Monique Anderson, associate dean and university registrar.

We have a tremendous opportunity to bring in even more transfer students as more of our state’s high school students take advantage of the Tennessee Promise, which offers last-dollar scholarships for Tennessee students to attend any of the state’s community colleges, colleges of applied technology, or other eligible institutions.

Recruiting and enrolling a transfer student requires our admissions officers and college departments to work together. Admissions must rely on departments to evaluate the courses a transfer student has taken to determine whether those credits should be accepted. To do that effectively, faculty need to review syllabi from other institutions to ensure these institutions’ learning outcomes are comparable to those here.

We are developing a database so we don’t have to evaluate the same courses from the same institutions each year.

We’ve created transfer pathways and transfer plans to help students from Tennessee community colleges transition to UT. However, in-state transfer students don’t always complete these plans before they apply to UT.

To assist prospective students, we have placed full-time admissions counselors focusing on transfer students in Memphis to serve West Tennessee and in Nashville to serve Middle Tennessee. There are two transfer counselors in Knoxville.

Transferring to a new university can be a shock, and transfer students often see their GPAs fall during their first semesters at UT. Transfer counselors can help students prepare for the transition to UT’s rigorous academic environment and can help students consider the important nonacademic aspects of transferring, such as the need to get involved in student organizations and study groups that will help anchor them to our university. Preparing for both the academic and nonacademic aspects of the transition reduces the risk that transfer students will drop out before they complete their UT degree.

We look forward to growing our transfer population in the coming years because these students bring a valuable perspective and enhance the diversity of our campus. We just need to be certain that we have the support systems in place that allow them to succeed as Volunteers.