Voices and Viewpoints

National Student Transfer Week Celebrates Transfer Students Nationwide

by Lauren Provencher / Oct 25, 2019

Today’s students in higher education are transferring more than ever before. Highlighting transfer students and their experiences, therefore, is becoming an important measure in maintaining equitable outcomes in academic institutions.

Every third week of October, the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS) encourages academic institutions nationwide to celebrate transfer students during its annual National Transfer Student Week (NTSW). The organization invites community colleges and two-year institutions, as well as four-year colleges and universities, to challenge assumptions, build empathy, and instill transfer pride at their institutions.  

NISTS is a nationally recognized organization that aims to promote better outcomes and provide improved support for transfer students through education, research, and advocacy. Along with assisting students, staff members also work directly with transfer students and those who participate in transfer-related policy and research. The goal of NISTS is to increase access and attainment of professional degrees by fostering smoother transitions and facilitating student success.

National Transfer Student Week is designed to break down barriers and create awareness of the distinct needs these students have."                    

NISTS builds awareness and creates tools to help transfer students’ transitions to other institutions, devoting one week every year to commend students’ successes and experiences. NTSW is designed to break down transfer barriers and create awareness of the distinct needs these students have. The yearly occurrence celebrates both transfer students and the professionals who assist them throughout their individual processes.  

This year’s NTSW theme is celebrating transfer stories, because NISTS recognizes there are many reasons students decide to transfer. Whether to save money before transferring to a larger institution or transferring between universities, the organization hopes to highlight diverse narratives of transfer students to provide a larger picture of the transfer experience and create a sense of community.

Given that multi-institutional attendance is the new norm as a critical mass of students transfer between colleges and universities, NISTS provides resources to better support outcomes and the transition of transfer students. During NTSW, for example, the organization provides ideas for engaging transfer students and faculty in a direct conversation about the transfer experience.

In addition, NISTS recommends working with institutional research offices to collect transfer student data, as well as with university relations offices to coordinate the publication of transfer student stories that emphasize the prevalence and significance of transfers on campus. The organization also stresses connecting students with each other and faculty members through roundtable discussions, transfer-focused workshops, and other events that keep the campus community engaged and promote transfer-receptive institutional cultures.

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