The university was one of 65 institutions named to Phi Theta Kappa's 2017 Transfer Honor Roll, which recognizes excellence in community college transfer pathways.
Every year, Texas Tech University accepts thousands of transfer students who began their educational career elsewhere before deciding to become a Red Raider. While these students experience some of the same transition issues as incoming freshmen, they also face others that are more common among transfer students.
"These students may have a greater number of college credits earned, but still no clear direction of major or degree,” said DaNay Phelps, assistant director of Community College & Transfer Relations (CCTR). "Some are nontraditional students who have to relearn how to be a student and have greater difficulty balancing all areas – school, studying, family life, work – of their lives.”
To help with this transition, Texas Tech has created several programs and resources specifically for transfer students. These efforts have been recognized by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society for two-year colleges, which recently named Texas Tech to its Transfer Honor Roll as one of 65 four-year institutions creating dynamic pathways to support community college transfer students.
"We understand the importance of meeting the needs of all of our prospective students and appreciate that transfer students may be further advanced in their academic careers and are focused on a timely graduation,” said Jamie Hansard, executive director of undergraduate admissions. "Many of the initiatives set in place have been thoughtfully created to ensure the success of new transfer students to the university.”
Institutions named to the Transfer Honor Roll are evaluated in five areas: institutional partnerships and community college collaboration; pre-transfer institutional support (outreach, admissions and access); post-transfer student engagement and support; community college data tracking and institutional priorities; and transfer innovations.
Support begins for many transfer students before they've even decided on Texas Tech in the form of advisers from CCTR at more than 60 regional sites in Texas and New Mexico. Outreach and success programs on community college campuses include regular recruitment visits, transfer fairs, course and degree guidance and financial aid advising.
"We're excited to provide students wishing to transfer to Texas Tech with a point of contact from the start,” Hansard said. "We're able to provide pre-transfer advising and admission counseling so students can make well-informed decisions on course selection at their current institution even before enrolling at Texas Tech.”
As potential students begin to narrow down their options, they can attend transfer events at Texas Tech to get to know the campus, faculty and staff, which include a campus and residence hall facilities tour and a student support services fair. They also can attend financial aid and scholarship presentations, where they can receive information on guaranteed transfer scholarships of up to $13,000 per year.
"Texas Tech's transfer scholarships are generous and provide transfer students who have excellent academic credentials the opportunity to make their college education affordable,” Hansard said. "With financial aid and competitive-based Texas Tech scholarships, transfer students will find that paying for and obtaining a Texas Tech degree is very possible.”
Transfer students attend a specialized Red Raider Orientation where they can connect with student, faculty and staff mentors, register for classes and learn about campus health and safety resources. Once classes begin, transfer students have access to all the resources and programs provided to every student – mentoring, tutorial and career services, writing and math labs, research and study abroad opportunities – as well as some directed more specifically at their needs, like child care services on campus, commuting and transportation assistance and tailored learning communities.
They also connect with faculty, staff and other transfer students on campus through programming hosted by a collaborative collection of programs and services known as the Transfer Connection. Many students credit the caring and positive attitude they experience from start to finish among faculty, staff and other students as one of their main reasons for attending Texas Tech.
"The transfer-friendly environment, readily available resources and the exciting college experience that is Texas Tech makes completing college here that much more enjoyable,” Hansard said. "Students thinking about transferring to Texas Tech can enjoy a personalized admission and pre-advising experience that creates a seamless transition to the university from whatever previous institution they may be attending.”