Transfer students find smooth transition

Cassady Jackson, Contributing Writer

With a mix of new programs and old methods, Eastern has been making the push to attract transfer students.

Rita Pearson, a transfer coordinator, said counselors do everything possible to help prospective students.

Some strategies she mentioned were conducting unofficial evaluations of transfer credit, starting to host Transfer Open Houses this year and continuing to visit community colleges to meet with students and counselors.

Wade Morrison, a sophomore geography major who transferred to Eastern this year, said he thought it would be difficult to see how his credits transferred and if he could still graduate in a timely manner, but it was not.

“The counselors worked really well with me in the process and everything turned out all right,” Morrison said.

Jay Abell, a senior political science major who transferred last year, also said the counselors helped him with his decision to attend Eastern. Before transferring, he spoke with an Eastern representative at his community college.

He said the representative’s information about the student-teacher ratio made him want to come to Eastern.

Morrison said he was initially nervous about making friends, as he did not know many people at Eastern.

In the end, though, he said it was not that bad.

“I got lucky and made a lot of friends with the people on my floor,” Morrison said.

Along with the regular pressures of transferring schools, the budget impasse and enrollment issues Eastern and other state universities have gone through can also cause concerns for some.

However, Abell said the budget crisis had no affect on him when choosing Eastern.

He said he knew the university would still be OK even during this difficult time.

Pearson said the enrollment pinch is not just an Eastern issue. Instead, colleges across Illinois are seeing decreases in enrollment.

“It is our challenge to get (a positive) message out to our future students through the noise of budget concerns and rigorous out-of-state competition,” she said.

Cassady Jackson can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].