Advising department documents student transfer intent

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Advising director hopes to reach students earlier.

By Alison Graef

agraef@student.alamo.edu

Advising Director Christina Horton shared the department’s success in exceeding its wildly important goal of documenting student transfer intent at a board meeting March 20 at Killen Center.

The WIG, which was chosen by the advising department at this college for fall 2017, was to increase documented intent to transfer from 314 students to 1,490 by Dec. 15.

The strategy to accomplish the WIG was for each adviser to document the transfer intents of 3 students per week. The department employs 28 advisers.

“This is a critical conversation that we have with students, so the goal was to make sure that three of those conversations happened per adviser per week,” Horton said.

The department exceeded the goal by 19 percent by documenting 1,722 conversations about transfer intent before Dec. 15.

Of those 1,722 students, 22 percent had completed 0-15 credit hours, 13 percent had completed 16-30 credit hours, 20 percent had completed 31-44 credit hours and 45 percent had completed 45 credit hours or more.

Horton said the goal is to see an increase in transfer intent discussions with the 0-15 hour group.

“The WIG is commonly referred to as the 30-hour intent, but I think we can all agree that by 30 hours, that’s a little too late for us to be having that conversation,” Horton said.

Horton said most transfer intent conversations happened at 31-45 hours because students often don’t come to advising before 31 hours.

The top five universities selected by the documented students were the University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, UT Health San Antonio, Texas State University and the University of the Incarnate Word.

According to Horton’s presentation, the first-year success rates for transfer students from this college to those universities are between 50 and 54 percent, and the graduation rate is between 58 percent at Texas State and 81 percent at UT Health.

“So the students who are making these choices are really setting themselves up for success,” Horton said.

Horton said the data from the WIG has been put to good use for planning the TRAC center’s February transfer event, on-site appointments with university representatives, the upcoming signing event May 3 and other events throughout the semester.

“Now that we know who these students are and where they want to go, we can be more strategic in reaching out to them,” Horton said.

Horton said when students identify where they want to transfer early, the advisers can ensure they take classes that will transfer to those universities and avoid taking excessive classes.

Horton said 80 percent of students who come to this college plan to transfer, but only 50 percent of those students use the transfer services.
She said it is a “reasonable presumption” that a lack of awareness is why so few seek transfer services.

To raise awareness, the center plans to host events on campus, and there is a new video about the center’s services.

Horton said the goal is to have the video incorporated into student development courses and to have faculty show the video to their classes.

“Everyone needs to be talking about transfer from the get-go,” Horton said.

Horton said students who want to go directly into the workforce instead of transferring are assisted in planning for and transitioning into their chosen careers.

“Keep in mind that our transfer center is also a career center,” Horton said.

Students can call Horton at 210-486-0333. Students can see their assigned adviser on the “My Page” tab of their ACES account.

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