OTAS - helping transfer students adjust

two women on stairs outside of Old College

field_katherine.jpgOur Office of Students Academic Services reaches into many parts of campus, touching the college journey of many students - particularly including transfer students:

In an average year, transfers make up nearly 20 percent of newly enrolled students at the University of Georgia.

"Students in this transfer population include veterans, in-state and out-of-state transfers, international students as well as nontraditional students," said Field. "Students often arrive on campus unaware of the many UGA resources designed to help them succeed."

For example, Kayla, a new transfer student, was enthusiastic about progressing toward her biology degree, confident she would excel at UGA. Two semesters later, she found herself on scholastic probation, with a 1.93 cumulative GPA. She was financially independent and working long hours, struggling with the rigor of UGA's coursework compared to that of her previous institution. Ultimately, Kayla began to feel that her major selection was no longer a good fit.

"Kayla's challenges are not unique for a transfer student. While most acclimate to the academic rigor and campus life at UGA, some experience ‘transfer shock,' the tendency for a student's grades to fall during their first semester at a new institution," Field said.

Franklin transfer students with a cumulative GPA below 2.0 are required to participate in academic counseling through OTAS. The retention support has two parts: students on scholastic or continued probation complete a self-assessment, which prompts them to identify contributing factors to their academic difficulty. Students are required to attend in-person academic counseling.

"Their difficulties have various sources—personal issues, learning styles, time management issues, choice of major—but whatever the nature of the challenge, OTAS works to help them identify the cause and find a solution that will put them on track for graduation," said Diane Miller, director of the Office of Student Academic Services in the Franklin College.

It's a common refrain, but the university is practically a small city unto itself, and an array of services are needed to make it work. OTAS is a crucial element in student success. Our thanks for staff expertise that supports the academic mission.