The Transfer Student Experience

Monmouth University is home of transfer students from across many different schools. From community colleges to other four-year universities, all have chosen Monmouth for a new chapter in their school career.

This year specifically, 190 students decided to join the Hawk family. A whirlwind of emotions is felt during this time, like anxiety and excitement. Luckily, the University welcomes transfer students with open arms and a smooth transition into their new school.

While making the perfect class schedule is happening behind the scenes, the Transfer Hawks Club and Transfer Services are planning for a welcome barbeque and orientation. This lets students meet others and learn about the services on campus. At this event, students meet with their Transfer Peer Mentors and those who are in their group.

Students are also greeted with helpful offices and programs that are prominent on campus. There are tables with staff from the Health Office, Office of Student Engagement, First to Fly, Counseling and Psychological Services, and many more.

Coming onto a new campus can often be anxiety ridden, it may be hard for some to transition. Some may feel that they do not belong or feel pressured to know the ins and outs.

Sophia Centrella, a junior psychology student who transferred to Monmouth, said, “My transition as a sophomore had a lot of ups and downs but got better as time went on. I found it difficult to make friends at first being that most people had already established friend groups, but the best thing I did for myself was introducing myself to everyone and anyone and joining clubs.”

Centrella continued, “It was a whole new place for me and despite understanding what college was like, I was worried that I wouldn’t find my people and contemplating if I made the right choice to come here. The Monmouth community was welcoming, but I had to be welcoming to new things and people for me to have a good experience.”

Even though it can be scary, some may benefit from a new environment and fit right into a new school. It takes time to figure out campus and all the buildings, but once the first week of classes is over, transfer students become pros.

Transfer Services will also help streamline the process and acclimate you to campus. Anthony M. Urmey is the Director of Transfer and Undeclared Services. With fourteen years of working in higher education, he has met and helped many students.

He said, “I feel that Monmouth University’s transfer students have demonstrated a track record of success over the last few years. Transfer student one-year retention averaged seven percent higher than that of first year students from Fall 2014 – Fall 2019. That statistic is due largely to our amazing transfer students and their dedication and hard work.”

Each semester, Transfer Services holds a three-part orientation program for new transfer students in order to acclimate to their new campus. The three parts include Transfer Hawk Landing, an online adaptation of orientation, the Mentorship Program, and an in-person event.

Urmey explained, “Our Transfer Hawk Landing online orientation provides information that our busy transfers can complete at their own pace. The Transfer Hawks Club Mentorship Program offers peer-to-peer mentorship by matching current students who already transferred to MU with new students. Lastly, we have a live event every semester to welcome new students to campus. Transfer Services also works to make new transfers feel welcomed, valued, and recognized.”

Throughout the year, Transfer Services is active on Instagram (@mutransferhawks) to create a sense of community for students and make sure their voices are heard. Many transfer students have a positive experience coming here because of services provided.

Sydney Cherwien, a junior communications student who transferred to Monmouth this year, said, “It’s been a really great experience so far. Everyone has been super welcoming, especially the staff. I’m not afraid to talk to or ask my professors questions. The best thing to do is join a few clubs and see which ones you feel most comfortable in. Everyone wants to meet new people, so I’ve learned to not be afraid to ask a stranger a question. The Transfer Orientation allowed me to meet some of my closest friends here at Monmouth as well.”

Finding yourself in a new community is thrilling experience. With the services offered by Monmouth University, success is on the horizon for all students. The transfer student adventure is one that only some will experience. There is reassurance that there are ways to be involved on campus, seek advice from others, and thrive from the new memories made.