Wednesday, July 16, 2014

AACRAO Technology and Transfer Conference

Last week, fellow Transfer Admissions Coordinator, Tom Tascone and I were able to spend 3 days in Fort Lauderdale, Florida attending the AACRAO (American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers) Technology and Transfer Conference. This conference was an opportunity to collaborate with other college professionals from across the country about new programs and initiatives implemented on their campuses. As a relatively new Transfer Coordinator with UNCW, having the opportunity to network with over 450 attendees gave me insight of how to grow professionally as well as continuously improve the transfer student’s experience from application to graduation. 

There is something to be said for the ability to learn from colleges whose total undergraduate population is nearly equal to the amount of transfer students that start at UNCW in the summer and fall semesters.  Throughout the conference I attended a wide range of sessions including ones on streamlining the transfer of credit process, military students and our institution, and recruitment and retention strategies. Each session gave me a different perspective and ultimately and full view of what it takes to make a college run effectively. It was great to see that each school regardless of being public, private, university or community college aimed to make the overall student experience the best possible. 

As a transfer student myself who graduated from UNCW, I know that being a Seahawk is something to be proud of and we all bleed teal, but I hoped that other people attending the conference would see that as well. During the last session I attended, presented by our very own Transfer Coordinator, Tom, on UNCW’s Teal Track program it was apparent that UNCW was “making waves.” Of course everyone loved our coastal location and history of film production giving Wilmington the nickname “Hollywood East,” but they were also impressed with how our transfer program has grown. You could hear gasps in the room when Tom stated we had between 1500 and 1600 transfer students start last summer and fall and that we had specific tours given by transfer students (Teal Guides) for transfer students. 

Overall, my experience solidified my prior knowledge that UNCW’s processes and procedures are in place to best assist the student. However, we can always learn new and innovative ways of working more efficiently towards our goal that will ultimately make us grow as an Admissions department and university.

Karla Blanton
Transfer Admissions and Financial Aid Coordinator

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