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.
During Orientation, you will be able to meet with a small group of transfer students to start building relationships and gain helpful resources you can tap into during your time at Westmont.
The Orientation Team is very excited to welcome you to campus, get to know you, and serve you as you make the transition to Westmont!
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 to their new college:
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.
Go here to read Westmont's community commitment to Biblical and Theological Foundations of Diversity.
The Intercultural Programs (ICP) Office is a fantastic resource and is here to support you. There are multiple intercultural organizations (ICOs) designed to create community for students of color and education for the study body on issues of race, justice and equity:
Asian Student Association (ASA)
Black Student Union (BSU)
Global and International Students Association (GISA)
Latinx Student Union (LSU)
MultiEthnic Student Association (MESA)
White Students for Racial Justice (WRJ)
For more information on the ICP office, intercultural organizations and ways to get involved, click here.
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 academic 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 New Student Retreat (NSR) meant for me?
Yes! You are certainly welcome to attend. Though a majority of the participants are first year students, we want to provide you with an opportunity to get to know a small group of other transfer students during this retreat. You can click on the link above for more info.
Are transfers allowed to get parking permits?
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 restricted permit. Be advised, though, that restricted permits are very limited, and having sophomore class standing does not guarantee that you will be able to get a restricted permit. 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?”