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Changing Campuses to Columbia The System Student Experience David B. Hunter, Ph.D. System Affairs and Extended University Asheley Schryer, M.Ed. Student.

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Presentation on theme: "Changing Campuses to Columbia The System Student Experience David B. Hunter, Ph.D. System Affairs and Extended University Asheley Schryer, M.Ed. Student."— Presentation transcript:

1 Changing Campuses to Columbia The System Student Experience David B. Hunter, Ph.D. System Affairs and Extended University Asheley Schryer, M.Ed. Student Success Center IdeaPop 2009. May 14, 2009

2 Alternate Title A Faithful Index to the Ambitions and Fortunes of the State Columbia Sesquicentennial Commission of 1938 The 5% solution

3 Purpose of Presentation Purpose To showcase the experience and performance of one of USC Columbia’s lesser-known populations Method Report on the numbers as well as the voices of students migrating from the USC System Campuses to USC Columbia. Outcomes What’s working right What needs improvement

4 USC System Facts of Interest Eight campus system “Flagship Campus” – USC Columbia Three “Senior” baccalaureate campuses Four “Regional” campuses focusing primarily on the first two years of college

5 USC System Facts of Interest Fall 2008 Headcounts The USC System enrolled 41,518 students USC Columbia -19,765 undergraduate & 6,218 graduate students USC Senior campus undergraduate enrollments: Aiken-3,078 Beaufort-1,502 Upstate-4,999 USC Regional campus enrollments: Lancaster-1,666 Salkehatchie-965 Sumter-1,235 Union-367

6 Coastal Carolina University Francis Marion University

7 Migration to USC Columbia Fall 2007- 380 moved from the Regional and Senior Campuses to USC Columbia. Transfers to Columbia totaled 1118 This migration represents 58% of movement within the state by Regional & Senior Campus students to all SC Public baccalaureate institutions An additional 211 moved to the Columbia campus Spring 2008 Transfers totaled 621

8 Why the Interest? The System Affairs Office in Columbia is directly responsible for providing transition services to these “change of campus” students.

9 What’s in a Name? Change of Campus Student migrator relocator “changee” system transfer

10 How do you do? – Numbers of note 2000 cohort - 334 Senior & Regional campus students migrated to USC Columbia Left their respective campuses after having earned 66 hours First semester GPA at the Columbia campus was 2.57 Four Academic Years Later Graduated Still EnrolledLeft w/o Degree System Transfer 63% 6% 31% All Transfers 54% 9% 37%

11 How do you do? – Student Voices Why did we pursue? Responsibility of this office to USC “family” Numbers were only part of the story – desired a “rich, thick description” (Merriam, 1988) Desire for continuous improvement To respond to stakeholder scrutiny

12 How do you do? – Student Voices Who did we talk to? Thirteen students out of potential pool of 444 changing campuses to Columbia in either Spring 2006 or Fall 2006

13 Student Voices - Profile Gender/Race: 8 Females/ 4 African American 5 Males/ 1 African American Age: Five were 19, three were 20, two each were 21, & 22, one was 49 Fall 06 Campus Represented : Aiken- 5 67 Beaufort- 1 41 Lancaster- 4 76 Salkehatchie- 1 26 Sumter- 1 99 Union- 0 4 Upstate- 1 60 (Focus group question and first semester performances of this group are found in Appendices A and B)


15 The Palmetto Athletic Conference BeaufortPirates? Coastal CarolinaChanticleers Spartanburg Rifles Sumter Partisans UnionBantams? (Aiken, Lancaster, and Salkehatchie, with original nicknames, were also members.)

16 Sumter students had fun with Partisans….. Any guesses? PARTY – SONS!!

17 Student Voices Reasons to attend system campus: Small campus environment – “Didn’t want a big campus.” Get grade point average up – “Lock in, get solid base.” Social Did not get into the Columbia campus Financial – lower tuition and the ability to live at home Went to Clemson for one semester and hated it, went back home and used that local campus as a “transition point” to USC Columbia Synopsis – Students wanted to establish a strong foundation in a local, small, economical environment.

18 Student Voices Reasons to change campus: Not able to complete degree at current campus Planned to change to Columbia campus from the beginning Looking for a bigger campus/city – liked Columbia’s diversity, “concerts, artsy stuff” Social Synopsis – Students needed to change to Columbia for their desired academic programs –they had, for the most part, exhausted course options locally.

19 Student Voices Expectations & realities of USC Columbia Concerned they would be treated “just like a number.” Thought campus would be large and have a wide variety of classes. Thought transition would be harder than it has been. Thought Columbia campus would be huge, but because they came in as junior, classes haven’t been that big. Scared because bigger campus, but doing well.

20 Student Voices Synopsis Not surprisingly, almost all referred to the significantly larger size of the Columbia campus, (both overall and in terms of class size). Some reported being “concerned,” “nervous,” “scared,” about the impending change. Several thought Columbia classes would be harder. Among those that did, some reported that this was indeed the case, while others said they have been pleasantly surprised that courses at Columbia have not been more difficult. Several students mentioned that they expected being on a bigger campus would yield more social opportunities.

21 Student Voices Comparisons between previous campus & USC Columbia Different groups of friends instead of the “same old group”, more to do, better variety of food Treated like high school students (at previous campus), “Why aren’t you in class?” Here you either go or you don’t. Liked having more choices, variety [of classes] “At previous campus you could stand in the middle and see every building.” Bigger campus – “Needed help with finding buildings and where to park in relation to classes.”

22 Student Voices Experiences at USC-Columbia Synopsis Positive - developing a different group of friends, more to do, more choices and variety, better advisement, further along with career plans, good professors, and the conclusion that a larger community was actually “small, but good.” Negative - lack of interaction with professors both in and out of the classroom; less interaction, more lecture in the classroom; and some negative advising experiences. Neutral - responses included one student commenting that professors at both campuses (Columbia and the campus from which the student transferred) were interested in helping and another reporting that interaction with professors was about the same.

23 Student Voices Expectations & realities of involvement Expected more opportunity to be involved. Hasn’t done much, wants to do more but wants to focus first on GPA, has two years left so feels has time. Hasn’t had time due to classes. Works on campus, member of Gamma – feels it’s pretty easy to get involved.

24 Student Voices Involvement Synopsis Many did get involved – tutoring, Transfer Mentor Program, academic major organization, football games, informal social opportunities. Those who did not get involved wanted to get their academics in good shape before pursuing anything new. These students also remarked that they did have expectations to be involved in the next year.

25 Student Voices The process of changing campuses Where did you get your information? By mail Advised by phone – “Hassled them to death, probably.” From boyfriend who was here Went to USC Columbia website – “Tore it apart.”

26 Student Voices The process of changing campuses Synopsis All forms of communication and opportunities were discussed by the participants – email, attending orientation, presentation at previous campus, website, telephone, “live” advisement, VIP, and “snail” mail. Several stated that they did not remember getting information from anyone (meaning they sought out the information). As to whether the information came from Columbia or their previous campus, student responses seemed to indicate the information was coming from a variety of places. In some cases it was hard for them to recall or distinguish.

27 Student Voices Advice What advice would you give to a student who wants to change campuses? Focus on study skills Figure out parking Establish good relationship with advisor, faculty, and staff Know your major Get your paperwork in early Consider the financial aspect Expect change! (See handout 1)

28 Student Voices Advice Synopsis Multiple answers were provided to this question. They range from the practical, “figure out parking,” to the expressive, “it’s going to be different and you’re probably going to be scared at first.” In between these extremes are the following: figure out advisement, come to campus to get a feel for it, draw on friends already on the Columbia campus for help, figure out financial aid, make sure you are academically ready –don’t transfer for social reasons, file change-of-campus/paperwork early, really focus on your living arrangements (on or off-campus, what it will mean to live away from parents).

29 APPLICABILITY OF THIS STUDY TO ALL WHO WORK WITH TRANSFER STUDENTS Need for Information Need for Consultation ------Time in College ------  Adapted from (Crockett, Noel-Levitz 2007) Our Office’s Premise: This “needs progression” is a challenge for Transfer students, including Change of Campus Students. Students’ information/advice needs as they progress through college

30 Applicability - Future Study/Actions Numbers - more comparison group data generation Voices - “next wave” focus group/individual interviews Change of Campus Task Force – a group at USC Columbia is currently examining all aspects of the change of school process in order to make improvements.

31 Applicability - Services Welcome Letter Transfer Mentoring Gamecock Connection Bridge Day Campus Presentations System Office advocacy/“legwork” Facebook: Transfer to USC Columbia Transition Guide Alternative Degree Programs

32 The Transition Guide (then,Transition Guide)

33 Making the Transition Successful – Can Do! (see handout 2) Growth/Independence Problem Solving Strategy/Navigation Adjustment Progression Change Assertiveness/Communication Attitude


35 Sex once in Heath Springs.”“Yes,

36 Conclusion “Our campus is the state. If you can’t come to the University, then the University will come to you.” - Havilah Babcok, USC Professor of English, 1937

37 Questions/Comments/Ideas? Contact Information David B. Hunter 7-9450 Asheley Schryer 7-4064

38 Appendix A Focus Group Questions for System Change of Campus Students 1. Why did you choose to enroll at your previous USC campus? 2. Why did you decide to change campuses to the Columbia campus? 3. What were some of your expectations concerning coming to USC Columbia and how have they been met or unmet? 4. What were the major differences in your experiences at your previous campus and the experiences you’ve had here at USC Columbia? Probe 1 – Positive Probe 2 – Negative 5. Are you involved at this campus? Probes – working, organizations, activities 6. If you could give advice to students considering changing campuses to USC Columbia, what would that advice be? Probe – Would you do it again? 7. What did your previous campus provide in the way of information or guidance related to your change of campus? Probe – if student answers “not much,” - How did you prepare for the change? 8. What did USC Columbia provide in the way of information or guidance related to your change of campus? Probe – same as 7 above 9. Is there anything else you’d like to tell me about your experience?

39 Appendix B (transfer GPA/ after one academic year at Columbia) 2.33/2.78 2.90/3.18 3.46/2.53 3.05/3.19 2.68/2.94 3.40/3.15 3.37/3.12 3.95/3.93 2.24/2.25 4.00/3.77 3.14/3.00 Majors Pursued: Economics, Education (2), English, Exercise Science, History (3), Journalism, Math (3), Sociology

40 References Hunter, D. USC Change of Campus Student Study, January, 2008, unpublished document. (contact DBH for a copy). Kerr, T.J., King, M.C., & Grites, T.J. (2004). Advising Transfer Students: Issues and Strategies. National Academic Advising Association, 12. Merriam, J.B. (1988) Case Study Research in Education: A Qualitative Approach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

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