Office of Transfer Student Success bridges gap for new Bears

The Office of Transfer Student Success, located in Room 10 of the Sid Richardson Building, helps transfer students thrive in a new environment. Kassidy Tsikitas | Photo Editor

By Ashlyn Kennedy | Reporter

The Office of Transfer Student Success offers notable resources to help transfer students get involved in the Baylor community and achieve success in academics. Its main purpose is to combat transfer shock by providing events and meetings to support them from arrival to graduation.

Dr. Austin Morell, Transfer Student Success Program manager, oversees the development of the office and its initiatives. She said her main goal is to provide coaching and guidance to transfer students.

“I see my job as a connector to other resources,” Morell said. “A lot of it is being the central hub so that I can help [the students].”

Some of the resources the office offers are a new student experience course called “Transferring Your Success,” a transfer mentor program, a transfer ambassador program and transfer mixers. It also has connections with tutoring.

While mentors meet one-on-one with new students to help them get acclimated to the university, ambassadors do outreach to potential and admitted students before they come to Baylor. Morell said these are important roles in helping support transfer students throughout their transition.

It provides space and recognition for transfer students and helps them realize that they’re not alone,” Morell said. “It also provides leadership opportunities [for the peer leaders] to give back to the transfer community.”

Waco junior Grace Lehmen works for the Office of Transfer Student Success as a transfer mentor and was a transfer student herself when she started her sophomore year at Baylor. She said she recommends all transfer students utilize the many programs and the guidance offered through the office.

“The Transfer [Student] Success Office is there to lend a hand to all transfer students,” Lehmen said. “The office impacted my experience very positively.”

Lehmen said she appreciated how resourceful the office was in answering any questions she had when she was new to Baylor.

“They really helped to guide me in ways that I needed,” Lehmen said.They would put you where you need to go, but with a transfer’s perspective and input while you are looking.

In addition to meeting with peer leaders, transfer students can meet with staff members to receive guidance during their first year at Baylor.

We just embed all of the touchpoints we have into resources and embed ideas into services,” Morell said. “I’m just really focused on that first semester and first year because of transfer shock and the runway for a transfer student being much shorter.

The office puts on events for transfer students to build community, such as Transfer Welcome Week and mixers. Mixers in the past have included pool parties, game nights and a trip to the Cameron Park Zoo.

The Instagram account for the office, @baylor_transfers, provides important information and updates for events.

One initiative the office has started on social media is posting tiny mic interviews with transfer students. Lehmen, who conducts the interviews, said they do this so incoming transfer students can see current transfer students and know they are not alone in their experience.

It’s fun for other people to see that they aren’t alone because I don’t know if a lot of transfer students know about the transfer office as much as I did when I came in,” Lehmen said. It’s always interesting to hear how different we are and yet how similar because we share the same experience of transferring.”