VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Starting Over Again: Counseling Considerations for Transfer Students in Higher Education
Lynn Zubernis, Vickie Ann McCoy, and Matt Snyder
Transfer students have been called “the forgotten students,” a group which has been neglected until recently. That’s beginning to change, however, with more students opting to start their higher education at the more affordable community colleges and many non-traditional age students returning to school to complete their degrees due to the stagnant economy. Colleges and universities are realizing that welcoming transfer and non-traditional students makes financial and academic sense, but many still do not have effective programs in place to help these students succeed. Unfortunately, this may result in many transfer students “falling between the cracks.” Counselors who work with transfer students can help these students cope more effectively with the challenges and stressors that come with a transfer, but only if the counselors themselves have an understanding of these stressors. Thus, in this article we provide an overview of the emotional, psychological, financial, and practical challenges encountered by transfer students in order to help counselors be more effective in facilitating successful academic experiences and personal growth for these students. We also examine recommendations for changes in higher education administration and programming, for which counselors can advocate in their role as consultants or student life professionals.