A November 4 trip to Virginia Commonwealth University on its Transfer Information Day gave nine RCC students the opportunity to see for themselves whether transferring to VCU would be a good choice. In addition to gathering information about the many available instructional programs, they were able to observe campus life first hand.
“We feel that it is important for students to be able to physically see college campuses that they are interested in,” says RCC Student Support Services (SSS) counselor Tanya Oliver, “to truly see if it is the right fit for them.”
The day started with a presentation at the VCU Transfer Center, describing what the Center tries to do for prospective students. This includes providing information and support to transfer students which will enable them, first, to establish a strong academic foundation for third and fourth year work, and then to make a smooth transition to VCU and progress steadily toward graduation. Available services include pre-admission, transition advising, evaluation of transfer credits, and advocacy that assists in connecting new students to the campus community. The visiting students were encouraged to ask questions.
After a guided tour and lunch, the RCC group attended a panel of four current VCU students who provided information about student activities, programs of study, ways to overcome homesickness, and the transitions from their previous schools. This was set up by Dr. Chimene Boone, director of the SSS program at VCU, who formerly served as a counselor with RCC’s SSS program.
The trip was organized by the Student Support Services Office at RCC, and was one of many such which occur each year for the benefit of the college’s students. Those who participate, says SSS counselor Joseph Coleman, “get a perspective of what it is to be a student on that campus.” Hearing other students speak about their experiences, he said, helps them to decide where to transfer after completing an RCC associate degree.
“VCU is my first choice,” declared student Isabella Cashin after hearing the presentations. Tiffany Wilson added, “The panel was great!”
For the 2016-17 academic year, RCC was awarded $302,452 to offer assistance to its students through the Student Support Services program. The United States Department of Education established this program to help remove social, cultural, and economic barriers to higher education; it provides RCC students who meet its guidelines with individualized academic and personal counseling, tutoring, and cultural and social enrichment opportunities. The Department of Education makes these services available through the TRIO series of federal grant programs.