Duane Bonifer  |   Published October 19, 2020

Becoming Transfer-Friendly

More students from region’s community colleges choosing to continue their higher education journeys at Monmouth.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Trevor Davis ’21 didn’t know how he’d fit in as a transfer student at Monmouth College.

TREVOR DAVIS: The family aspect really hit home immediately. It felt like I had been here f... TREVOR DAVIS: "The family aspect really hit home immediately. It felt like I had been here forever."But soon after enrolling at the College from Southwestern Illinois College, the business and economics major from Waterloo, Illinois, realized he had made a great decision.

“Coming from another school, Monmouth accepted me instantly,” said Davis, who is also a member of the Fighting Scots baseball and men’s basketball teams. “The students and professors all helped me transition from my old school to here, and the family aspect really hit home immediately. It felt like I had been here forever. The professors and advisers really helped with the transition of credits, which can be a challenge, but here it was never an issue.”

Davis is among a growing number of Monmouth students who are choosing to attend the residential liberal arts college after starting their higher education journey at a community college. Monmouth also enrolls students who transfer from another four-year school, especially from larger state universities. But the College has experienced an increase in students transferring from the region’s community colleges.

That’s part of a national trend, which is being celebrated during National Transfer Student Week from Oct. 19-23. Nearly half of college students who complete a degree at a four-year institution were enrolled at a two-year institution at some point in the previous 10 years, according to the National Student Clearinghouse.

“Students want choice, and sometimes that means they want choices in how they attend college,” said Dean of the Faculty Mark Willhardt. “So transfers are going to continue to be a growing part of our academic profile at Monmouth, as students start one place but finish with us.”

“We know that transfers are a growing population of successful students, and we look forward to helping them achieve that powerful Monmouth College experience.”
– Mark Willhardt, dean of the faculty

Last fall, Monmouth’s faculty voted to adjust the College’s course-transfer process to become more transfer-friendly toward students enrolled in online classes, particularly at community colleges. Several of the College’s academic departments – including business and economics, psychology, and mathematics – are working to articulate how a student with an associate’s degree can flourish at Monmouth.

“We know that transfers are a growing population of successful students, and we look forward to helping them achieve that powerful Monmouth College experience,” said Willhardt.

‘The perfect next step’

TAYLOR EWALD: Monmouth was the perfect next step for me after transferring from a community... TAYLOR EWALD: "Monmouth was the perfect next step for me after transferring from a community college."For recent graduate Taylor Ewald ’19, Monmouth was the right place to complete her higher education journey.

“Monmouth was the perfect next step for me after transferring from a community college,” said Ewald, a history major and educational studies minor who is now an outreach educator at Adirondack Experience in Blue Mountain Lake, New York.

Monmouth faculty are also excited about the College’s efforts to work more with transfer students.

“As an undergraduate transfer student myself, I’m thrilled to see the College making efforts toward becoming even more transfer-friendly,” said Marsha Dopheide, chair of the psychology department and coordinator of the College’s neuroscience program. “Streamlining the transfer process reinforces the transfer students’ persistence to earn their four-year degree – often under nontraditional circumstances. And that persistence often carries over to their coursework, motivating them to engage with the material and discussions in a meaningful way that I, and their fellow students, find inspiring.”

Political science major Brock Crippen ’21 said that transferring to Monmouth from Illinois Central College “was the best decision I made for my future.”

“This place is one big family, and I felt like I belonged the moment I stepped foot on campus,” he said. “The faculty has gone above and beyond to ensure my success in the classroom as well as when I graduate.”

“As an undergraduate transfer student myself, I’m thrilled to see the College making efforts toward becoming even more transfer-friendly.”
– Marsha Dopheide, psychology department chair

For Monmouth graduate Stephanie Saey ’18, streamlining the transfer process helped her stay on track toward her goal of becoming a doctor. Saey transferred to Monmouth from nearby Carl Sandburg College and is now a student at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, where she is studying to become a neurologist or neurosurgeon.

“Monmouth provided me with an incredible education and the opportunity to forge close relationships with professors and mentors I keep in touch with today,” said Seay, who was a biochemistry and biopsychology major at Monmouth.

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