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Friday, August 14, 2020

Opinion

UH needs more resources for transfer students


Chris Charleston/ The Cougar

Christopher Charleston/ The Cougar

The University of Houston is considered to be one of the most transfer-friendly schools in the state with a 91 percent transfer acceptance rate in 2019.

With Texas recently passing a bill to facilitate transferring credits from a two-year institution to universities, UH has seen an increased interest from those outside of the Houston area. 

In Fall 2018, over 5,000 students transferred to the University and the number is growing. 

Although it is one of the largest Tier One research schools in Texas, UH seems to lack programs to help transfer students adjust to a new campus.

I transferred to the University in January and quickly noticed there wasn’t anything designed for the nervous new students who are trying to be successful in a university setting after transferring from a community college. 

An example would be the number of classes to take or how big of a course load to take when you first transfer in. 

At a community college, it is common to take 15-16 hours per semester because of the variety of course durations. 

Community colleges offer eight and 10-week classes during each academic session, alongside with the 16-week courses. This variety makes it easier to take more than 12 hours a semester. 

A majority of community college students work or have internships, and often rely on the short term classes that are offered during the academic session.

Students continue to take the same course load as before because they are rarely advised to take more than 12 hours.

If they are taking more than 12 hours, there aren’t any programs designed to assist students taking a big course load their first semester at the University. 

I never understood why transfer students have a challenging time adjusting to a university setting until I experienced it. It’s because they don’t have an outlet to fall back on. 

Almost no one shares that they transferred to the University unless they have already found an outlet by joining clubs and organizations. 

But even with a large number of transfer students, it is difficult to find guidance to navigate a university setting. Transfer students need a mentor; someone that guides them so they’re able to be successful as they finish the rest of their undergraduate career. 

The University of Texas has a program specific for transfer students. The Transfer Experience Center offers students the opportunity to gain insight about the campus and make friends, which makes the transfer into the university and the community smoother.

As UH grows and more students transfer, the University along with the help of transfer students needs to develop a resource for transfer students who seek guidance to ensure their success. This resource could also help them make friends so that they are not alone during this time of change.

Saira Haque is a anthropology junior who can be reached at [email protected] 

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