Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tips for Successfully Transferring to a University: Academic Questions

Are you considering transferring to a university after you graduate from Vol State? It’s never too early to start checking out options. What do you need to know about the academic side? Here are a few questions to ask:
·         Is the university regionally accredited? There are many different kinds of accreditations (i.e. regional, national, industry-specific, etc.) which demonstrate that a university has met a certain set of official criteria of excellence. Not all accreditations are the same! If a school is not regionally accredited, then it will be very hard for you to transfer credits from there to any other school if you decide to continue your education after graduating with them.
·         Does the university have the major you want? If you aren’t sure what major you want to do, the Advising Center in Ramer 174 can assist you with major and career exploration. If you want to pursue a major that the university has but that Vol State does not, you might consider majoring in General Studies at Vol State. This degree program allows you more flexibility to take Vol State courses recommended by the university that don’t fit perfectly into another degree program. Contact the Advising Center at 615-230-3702 for more information.
·         How competitive is the university and/or the major? Some schools have guaranteed objective admissions standards (i.e. a minimum GPA, ACT score, etc.) Others have a subjective, holistic approach in which they consider GPA and scores as well as writing samples, extracurricular activities, etc. Remember that being admitted to the university does not guarantee admission to your major of choice. Some majors (i.e. business, education, health sciences) have separate, often more rigorous, admissions standards. If there are a limited number of seats in the program, meeting the minimum criteria might not be enough to get admitted. If the university and/or major are competitive, make sure you have a less competitive backup plan.
·         How will your Volunteer State credits transfer? It’s not enough to know if your credits will transfer. You need to know how they will transfer. Will they count as electives, or will they satisfy specific degree requirements? Tennessee Transfer Pathway (TTP) degrees are designed to transfer smoothly to all participating public universities in Tennessee and some private ones, but some universities do not always follow the TTPs perfectly. Also not every TTP is accepted by every university. It is always best to consult with an advisor at the university to make sure your classes will transfer smoothly. See if the university has an updated equivalency chart showing which Vol State courses are equivalent to which courses at the university.
Knowing that a university is regionally accredited, has the program you want, and will accept your courses toward your degree of choice will help you to save time, money, and stress.
Lindsay Guenther  and Josie Larson are full-time advisors at the Gallatin campus.
©2018 Lindsay Guenther, Josie Larson, Rebecca Adair

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