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UWRF attracting transfers

May 2, 2013

UW-River Falls is looking to increase the number of incoming transfer students for the 2013-2014 school year.

Total enrollment for the 2012-2013 academic year came to almost 6,500 students, according to Institutional Research at UWRF.

Since fall of 2012, nearly 500 of those students were incoming transfers.

Numbers for transfer students have been around the same in past years, around 450.

Christine Kerg, transfer coordinator at UWRF, would like to see those numbers higher. Kerg and the Admissions office are working on aiming to get around 625 transfer students for the 2013-2014 school year, 475 for fall and 150 for spring.

Kerg helps transfer students by providing them with as much information as possible to ease the transfer process.

“I try to personalize their experience so they can learn about the aspects that are important to them,” Kerg said.

Kerg also gives transfer students the option of providing them a campus tour and a departmental meeting in the major they are interested in.

In helping bring transfer students to UWRF, Kerg visits other colleges, particularly technical and community colleges to get students interested in transferring to UWRF.

Transfer students choose UWRF over other institutions for many reasons.

“Many students choose UWRF because the tuition is affordable, the location is convenient, and the academic programs we offer,” Kerg said.

UWRF also offers a range of services through New Student and Family Programs.

The department guides new students and their families in making a successful transition to campus.

Current students also help in assisting future students, helping them ease into transitioning to the campus life.

Becky Dahlke came to UWRF because of the hospitality she felt when talking with UWRF representatives while at UW-Marathon County.

Dahlke, a junior broad field science major with an emphasis in biology, toured other campuses, but did not know if she would be welcomed or not.

Her mind changed when she saw UWRF.

“River Falls was the only campus that I really felt like I was going to be welcomed as a person, not just a number,” Dahlke said.

Hailie Schwarztrauber, an elementary education major, always wanted to come to UWRF. However, her ACT scores were not good enough to get in.

She started her college career at UW-Barron County. Once she finished school there, she came to UWRF.

Schwarztrauber transferred to UWRF last fall, and the one thing she loved was the dorm life.

At UW-Barron County she was not able to experience the dorm life because there were no dorms.

Since her transfer last fall, Schwarztrauber enjoys staying on campus, making new friends and enjoying the college life.

However, transitioning to a new campus can be challenging as well.

Rachel Rhyner, a junior from UW-Marathon County, found it hard to adjust to UWRF.

She has found help through the Student Support Services program, a program helping students maximize their academic potential.

However, Rhyner is still having difficulty finding the direction of who to go to and where to get help.

“I was surprised by how less helpful the institution was for a transfer student,” Rhyner said. “The direction of telling you where things are available is terrible.”

According to Kerg, many students who first transfer here take time to adjust to the campus surroundings and the resources that are available to them.

Kerg said that one thing she would like to see improve is having more time spent recruiting and getting information out to students at two-year or technical colleges.

The University is currently in the process of hiring for a new position.

This position is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Student Success.

The role of this new person will be to tackle mainly issues of enrollment and retention and therefore they will play a part in getting transfer students to campus in order to help increase enrollment numbers.