In my last post, I highlighted the fact that community college (or transfer) students are a diverse population. This week, I came across a new phrase to describe this group of students, which is the “forgotten population.” In a podcast titled, The Under-Appreciated Transfer Student, the idea of students becoming lost on college campuses was discussed by staff members of a university. Although their phrase might seem somewhat extreme, I think it is a statement worthy of reflection.
The speakers argued that some universities see transfer students as simply a number, adding to their enrollment statistic, but that their specific needs are not considered once they arrive. Students might not feel connected to their new environment and administrative and programming staff need to be aware of this tendency. One of the suggestions to increase students’ involvement is to facilitate supportive relationships between transfer students and their peers, as well as between faculty and staff. This would provide a holistic perspective of the transfer experience and also would require acknowledgment that this population might face additional challenges in feeling accepted.
In terms of career development, small changes or updates could be made to methods of career service delivery to create an environment the speakers describe as “transfer friendly.” For example, a tailored career center presentation could be given at the Transfer Student Orientation, or a handout could be developed to address career development milestones for students who will only be at the university for two years.
To learn more about the ideas surrounding this “forgotten population” on college campuses, please see the link to this podcast included below.