Orientation Transfer Students
Welcome Transfer Students
We are thrilled that you will be coming to Westmont.
As a transfer student we know that you are not new to college, however you are new to Westmont and we're excited to learn from you and to orient you to Westmont. Please plan to join us for new student orientation in August where you will meet fellow transfers and other new students and become familiar with Westmont traditions and resources.
One of our goals for Orientation is to help prepare you for academic success. We also hope you will begin to feel known and cared for in the Westmont Community.
As you prepare to arrive be sure to review the Check List Items on the Before You Arrive page.
Also, take note of the First Year Experience page for ideas of different opportunities and resources we provide for new students.
Please contact the Campus Life Office if you have any questions before your arrival.
We are thrilled you are coming to Westmont.
The Orientation Team
We can't wait to meet you!
Transfers are expected to attend new student Orientation in August. There are both general student sessions and transfer only sessions during Orientation. We look forward to meeting you then.
We're eager to support you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact one or more of the following departments
|Registrar||The Registrar's Office can help you with transfer credit processing inquiries, scheduling classes and other academic advising questions.|
|Angela D'Amour, Dean of Student Engagement||Angela directs Orientation & oversees Campus Life. She can help you find ways to connect and get involved on campus.|
|Center for Student Success||The Center for Student Success offers free peer coaches to help students navigate challenges of the college experience, both inside and outside the classroom.|
|Off Campus Programs||
If you're interested in studying abroad -- whether that be for a semester, or Mayterm, the Off Campus Programs Office can help you plan and prepare.
|Library||The Research Help Desk at the library is happy to assist with your research project inquiries, and help you find resources. They also offer tutoring for specific Westmont classes.|
|Disability Services||The Office of Disability Services supports, encourages and promotes the academic and personal development of each student with disabilities. They will discuss accommodations, as well as educational strategies, that will equalize every students' opportunity to thrive.|
|Your RDs||Feel free to call on them. They're here for you.|
|Your RAs||Westmont is known for its community. The RA process is very selective, and your RAs truly want to get to know you.|
As a transfer or consortium student you will have many different experiences from those of first-year students. Some of you have had time to adjust to the increased freedoms of being in college and away from your family. Yet you will be entering the culture of a new campus. After listening to many of our transfer and consortium students, we offer the following suggestions:
No doubt you have heard that Westmont is an academically rigorous place. Many of our transfers say they have ended up reading more and spending more time studying than they did at previous institutions. To help in this adjustment, here are some words of advice:
- Take advantage of study groups
- Don’t schedule too many extra-curricular commitments (15 hours maximum)
- Talk to your professors (during office hours) and to fellow students
- Take advantage of tutoring available through the library
Westmont is a great community where people tend to develop deep and often lifelong connections. But these connections take time to grow and develop. We will work to help you meet a variety of people, but here are a few ideas to get connected:
- Take part in Orientation! Although it may seem like you don’t need to, you will meet tons of people. It is also a great opportunity to get to know the culture of the campus.
- Get to know your resident assistant (R.A.) & Orientation Team Leader. These people are eager to meet you and connect you with others.
- Join a club. Westmont has close to 50 student clubs for a variety of student interests. Often, the commitment to join a club is modest but the payoff is great.
- The transfer club plans at least one major social event for transfer students each semester. You will receive invitations to these events through your Westmont e-mail. We hope you'll participate.
Remember, it can take time to develop close connections. Getting engaged in Campus Life is one of the best ways to develop these connections.
Research on transfer students reveals that engaging in the following three things will aid transfer students' adjustments:
1. Talk with your advisor: Your professors at Westmont also serve as your advisors. They are brilliant, wise, and desire to walk with you through your Westmont journey.
2. Get to Know Faculty and Staff: Westmont's Student Government, WCSA, is proud to sponsor a program that allows students to get to know their professors by treating them to lunch.
" Dont' be afraid to talk to a professor. Some students flush like strawberries when a professor asks a simple question. Relax. Breathe. A professor has to eat and shower up, just like you" (Dr. Randall J. VanderMay, Professor of English)
3. Engage in "High Impact" Activities such as: Studying Abroad, Internships, Faculty Research, Senior Capstone Course or Senior Seminar
Information collected from:
Hoover, Eric. " Complexity of Counseling Transfer Students." Chronicle of Higher Education. 1 Jun 2011.
Terris, Ben. " Transfers Are Less Likely To Take Part in 'High Impact' Activities." Chronicle of Higher Education. 8 Nov 2009.
Reflections on Diversity at Westmont
by Geriece Jenkins
My thoughts were like a see-saw as I stood in front of the mirror pondering the semester ahead. I said to myself, “I should —I definitely should. But then again maybe not — I can’t do that. No, no, I definitely should.”
What was all this intense and intrapersonal debate about? What was going to shape the first semester of my sophomore year? What was going to send ripples through the Westmont community?
MY HAIR! Yah, I definitely said that — it was my hair. I just couldn’t figure out whether to come back to school with the afro I had been wearing all summer or whether to put my hair back into more mainstream braids. I know, right now you are thinking, “Is this girl serious, and how the heck does this qualify as an intelligent reflection on diversity?” But honestly, this minor decision was causing me a lot of angst on that late August afternoon.
Looking back on that moment I realize that I was not freaking out about making a disco fashion statement. I was just afraid to be more different than I already would be at Westmont. I had experienced walking into a class, into a section meeting, or into the DC and being one of few people with this lovely chocolate skin tone. This alone makes me stand out in the crowd, so adding the fro to that factor seemed like it might be too much to handle. As it turns out — and I am sure you are dying to know at this point — I did, in fact, return to Westmont with the afro my sophomore year. It was a great year, but even more than just having cool hair, I learned a lot about myself and my approach to diversity on this campus.
I believe that amazing variety exists at Westmont, but that we often fail to fully explore the possibilities and potential under the surface of how the community appears to be. One aspect of diversity that Westmont solidified for me is that every single person, whether a person of color or not, has a story to tell and a heritage to offer. So many people are afraid to let their uniqueness show, so they assimilate into the Westmont culture and community in order to fit in. The challenge for each of us is to own those characteristics, like the afro, that make us different and to walk confidently knowing that we all have something special to contribute to this place. My hope is that Westmont will be a place where you are comfortable enough to offer your story in an authentic and compelling way with the people around you. However, it is equally important that Westmont be a place where you are able to listen and learn from the stories of others. The point is that diversity at Westmont is a reality now and starts today as we build a society of unique individuals who embrace the differences between themselves.
Secondly, I love the idea that every culture of the world contains an aspect of the image of God. I believe that part of being created in God’s image is that each of our cultures reflects that image in specific ways. To limit cultural diversity within the Christian faith is to limit your understanding and perspective of God. No one culture reflects Him entirely, and we need to be willing to learn from other cultures about what they bring to the Christian faith. This means that we have to develop a willingness to experience worship through other cultural lenses. I would encourage you to grow to a place where you are able to view the world and the Christian faith from the perspective of another person. Obviously we can never completely turn off our own world view, but we make strides in that direction. My best friend is Korean-American, and I have learned so much about Jesus from this woman. It was not automatic, but as I spent time with her family, time at her church or Korean-American conferences, I began to appreciate the culture more and also to appreciate my creator more. One of the greatest gifts God has given us is different cultural backgrounds.
My final thought is a challenge to you (disclaimer: this will not be comfortable or easy for you — get used to that because that is what college is all about). I try to have one goal in my interactions with people and that is to be H.O.T. (yah, you read that right). This acronym stands for Honest, Open and Transparent. I have found that once you move with confidence in the person you are becoming and set aside pretense, others are willing to follow. In those moments of being completely open, we discover more of the rich diversity of who we are and how we think as a community because we can see the beauty each individual brings to this campus. The more I have worked to involve myself in the lives of friends who come from different contexts, the better I understand who they are. Each new relationship has led me deeper into the conclusion that people are simply people and all of us are distinctive in our own right. When we realize that, we realize you can’t place broad generalizations on individual personalities. God brought each person to this place and this time for a reason, and we have the opportunity to walk through the next four years asking questions and listening to stories to understand what that reason is.
How do I get involved?
The Westmont's Programs & Resources list is a great way to learn what Westmont offers its students. Please take note of the year-long student leader opportunities.
If I have a specific question about credit transfer, who do I contact?
Jennifer Taylor is the Student Support Counselor in the Registrar's Office and she will help you with any transfer credit inquiry you may have. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is here to support me?
Please reference the Transfer Support Team tab to get a list of the Transfer Support team.
How to determine class standing:
I am considered a...
- first year if I have 0-25 units
- second year if I have 26-58 units
- third year if I have 59-91 units
- fourth year if I have above 92 units
A minimum of 124 semester units must be completed in order to receive a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. More information on page 25 of the Course Catalog
Where can I talk to other transfers to see how they made their transition successful?
The transfer club is specifically chartered to support new and on-going transfer student experiences. The club hosts regular events and gatherings that bring transfer students together for conversations and fun. Consider signing up to be on the member list of the transfer club at the fall Community Picnic or the Spring Clubs and Cupcakes event on Kerrwood Lawn.
Is the First Year Retreat (FYR) meant for me?
While the FYR is geared towards first-years, you are certainly welcome to attend. Some transfers have participated in the past, and we welcome their perspective and maturity.
Are transfers allowed to have vehicles?
Eligibility for parking permit privileges is primarily based on class standing. If you have junior or senior class standing, you are eligible for a parking permit. If you have sophomore class standing, you may request a sophomore permit. Be advised, though, that Sophomore permits are very limited; so if you get a Sophomore permit, you are very lucky! For more information on parking permit eligibility, please click here.
Briana transferred Spring semester of her freshman year from San Francisco State University. She’s majoring in music, but she’s been able to take a lot of the math and science courses here, too, which she loves.
Here are some thoughts and tips for incoming transfers:
- Transferring can be a scary process, but I was so impressed by how helpful, accommodating, and personal the faculty and staff were in helping me through that process. Even weeks into the school year, they made an effort to see how my transition was going.
- People are really excited to meet and befriend transfers! Before getting to campus, I thought I would have to try really hard to meet and introduce myself to new people, all the time, in the hopes of making new friends. But what I found instead was that more often, others would realize that I was new or that we hadn't met before, and they would approach or introduce themselves first!
- Transferring to Westmont was the best decision I made, and I am so glad that Westmont is my college, and my home. Each transfer has a specific reason(s) for transferring, (and I'm always open to sharing about those reasons!), but all transfer students share the desire to find the school that's best for them, where they feel they belong.
Steven transferred into Westmont as a Junior, after graduating from a community college. He is majoring in Social Science with an emphasis in Political Science, and plans to attend graduate school after college. Steven comments that, "Westmont is a learning, living, and thriving community that holds Christ at the center of all we do. I highly value the rigor and quality of the liberal arts education, and I am confident you will too!"
Here are some tips for other transfers:
- Understand how your courses transfer. Check with the Register to ensure that all the classes that need to be transferred have been transferred in the proper way. This will save many headaches down the road and ensure a smooth transition into the Westmont community.
- Explore the different faith traditions at Westmont. Don't shy away from questions of faith on campus; the community enjoys learning from each other and growing with each while retaining their individual faith identity.
- Understand what Westmont wants its graduates to be when they finish their studies here. A good place to start is the reading, “What Do We Want For Our Graduates?”