Transfer and freshman first-year experiences differ — here’s how


Ashton Byers - The State Hornet

Dylan Her(right) a Sophomore Biology major is being helped by Chris Hernandez(left) who is also a student and works at the Academic Advising center.

Ashton Byers

The experience a Sacramento State transfer student versus a freshman first-year student can be very different, with some transfer students saying their path lacks in opportunity.

Academic advising director Jazzie Murphy said the first major difference in experience lies in the transfer student orientation.

“For transfer students, it is just one day, and in that one day [the students] meet with someone from their major department, they meet with someone from my office,” Murphy said. “They learn about all the tools available to help them plan and register and graduate on time. [The students] actually register at the end of that first day.”

Freshmen get the opportunity to have an overnight experience, where they stay in the dorms, focus on team building and forming friendships, according to Murphy.

“More than half of our students are transfer students,” Murphy said. “We should be doing more, if not the same, of what we provide for our first-year students. That’s why we are looking into an advising center for transfer students.”

Robert Nelsen, president of Sac State, told The State Hornet on Friday that a transfer center is in development.

Currently, one of the main resources available to transfer students is the Transfer Student Association. According to a message from a club representative, the organization aims to bridge the gap between community college and university life.

The club provides social opportunities and workshops, including a Mock Transfer Center held each semester to promote the construction of a physical transfer center.

“We are one of few transfer student specific resources in addition to the Transfer Navigation Team and Transfer Student Peer Mentors,” the message read.

The Transfer Student Association meets every Monday in Douglass Hall from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Sac State alumna Lisa Lor said that her community college counselor facilitated the transition and her experience.

“It wasn’t too bad because I had a really good counselor back at my community college who helped me transition here,” Lor said. “I used the academic resource center, but that’s when I found out it was separate from my major. If I had questions about my department, I had to go to my department and talk to them.”

Murphy said that every student has two advisors at Sac State, one for their major and an academic advisor who can answer questions about general education and graduation requirements.

Malak Qudsi, a civil engineering major and international transfer student from Jordan, said that going from a British to an American curriculum was tricky at first because the terminology and style of teaching are different.

Online tools are also available for students transferring to Sac State, aside from the KEYS to Degrees Toolbox that is available for everyone, according to Murphy.

“What’s really unique for the transfer students is the transfer credit report,” Murphy said. “It will show them all the courses that they have taken at their community college, what they were called there and more importantly [and] what we are equating them [with] here at Sac State.”

Along with the resources on the school website is the transfer navigation team page on Facebook. According to Murphy, the Facebook group creates a virtual community for transfer students where they help each other, rather than waiting to see an adviser.

“Literally within minutes, people are responding, versus waiting, trying to come in or asking an adviser versus being able to ask a thousand transfer students at once,” Murphy said.

This story has been updated to include information about additional resources available to transfer students at Sac State.