I would be the first to admit that we do not do a very good job onboarding transfer students to the College of Business. We only get 90 minutes with the m as part of the University’s orientation and most of that time is focused on schedule planning. For the students, its a bit like drinking water from a fire hose. They need to absorb a lot of information in a very short period of time. Once they get into the semester and experience their first set of exams, transfer students realize that we are a very different place than the one they left: different culture, different class sizes, different standards, different rules and far too frequently this leads to disappointing outcomes for the students. By the time they figure out they are in trouble, its too late. If you aren’t proactive at UCF and get the help you need early, the place can run you over.
So I have charged a group of Ambassadors, transfer students all, to help us put together a series of workshops that can be delivered in the Exchange the first two or three weeks of the semester that will better orient transfer students to the College of Business. These sessions might include such topics as how to access the various resources available to students, how to avoid student debt, the importance of connecting with other students and joining clubs, building a relationship with your career coach and faculty expectations of students.
Some of these sessions will need to be run by College personnel: career coaches, associate deans and department chairs. But, the Ambassadors can play an especially critical role in helping transfer students develop “street smarts.”. As students, they are in the best position to help other students learn what it takes to thrive in the College of Business. So at the first meeting of our “task force,” I have asked them to put together a set of “street smarts,” tips that they could share with other students as they start their journey in the College. Some early suggestions include:
- Although Lonny might act like the Tasmanian Devil, he is really Batman with a utility belt that can help lost students find a path to success.
- You are not in the College until you complete the College Program Prerequisites. If you haven’t already done them, do them NOW.
- You need to watch Dr. Clevenger’s lecture capture class carefully because he includes random facts that appear on the test. It is his way of catching “lecture surfers.”
- If you think you can work full time and take a full course load like you did at the community college, you are going to find out that you’re wrong.
- Dude, Intermediate Accounting is really really hard: Lots of students fail. If you want to major in accounting, you will need to bring your “A” game for this course..
- If you want to avoid lines in the testing center, get there before 11 am. There are never lines then.
You get the idea. We plan on launching this new onboarding program in Fall of 2016. To provide the most comprehensive set of advice possible for this effort, I want to include all of you in this process through social media. So, if you are a student with a piece of advice you’d like to pass along to those who follow you, or someone new to the College who could use advice about a particular challenge, let us know by leaving a comment on this post or tweeting us using the hashtag #UCFBIZSTREETSMARTS.
This is an easy way to have a lasting impact during your time at UCF. Let’s help all our Knights get off to a good start in the College of Business.