RIC transfer students should be advised that the lack of communication between departments is the reason said students are looked at as dollar signs. The college’s transfer numbers have increased since CCRI has begun pumping out Promise Fund degrees. Transfer students are a way this institution keeps its retention rate. Many students who transfer have trouble with either unusable or high amounts of elective credits and are told they should have taken their major required courses before their general education credits. Transfer students need to stay on top of their advisement reports and should schedule regular meetings with their adviser in order to see their proper graduation date.
Due to the lack of a journalism professor, the college had to let go of the journalism concentration. However, this only took effect starting this semester. As a transfer student who chose journalism back in 2018, I should have been fine. The journalism concentration was already declared under a communications major.
Emphasis on should have been.
Aiming to graduate on time and staying up to date with credits, it was brought to my attention I came into this semester without a concentration nor an adviser. When I chose my classes back in the spring my advisement report was aligned to a journalism concentration; half way through the semester I came to find out I was in a class that would not satisfy any of my requirements and I did not need any electives due to my CCRI classes. The degree paths between institutions barely match, for any major. Personally I aspire to get required courses out of the way before taking electives so naturally I was angered.
A former RIC student, who now attends Bridgewater State University said, “They were going to make me pay for classes I already took, and I didn’t see the point. I would have been dropped back down to sophomore level as a senior. When I tried to reach out for help I was given a runaround and had no help from my own department.” Her words are something many transfer students feel. It is known that the best help comes from the individual advisers appointed to students by their major. For example, without the help of a communications adviser I would not have known Comm 241 is satisfied by CCRI Film 116. Megan Spiers, a student with a not so lucky advisement experience, was rudely informed that her major requirements should have been done within her freshman and sophomore year. She now may be faced with paying tuition for an additional year.
RIC is no stranger to problems with transfer students. Current News Editor for The Anchor, Alexis Rapoza, wrote a piece on this issue. She herself transferred to RIC from New England Tech with 75 elective credits. The Anchor’s Art Director Grace Kimmel also commented that the RIC system for transfer credits has always been a mess. For it to be a normal occurrence for first semesters students to get hit with the reality that they may not graduate on time is by far bewildering. Retention rates and college finances such as tuition should be built on the premise of a satisfactory education and not the lack of guidance and communication on behalf of the school.
In a simple call to OASIS to plan a FAFSA renewal it became clear for me that transfer students are evidence for RIC expecting students to do more than they should. Students should not have to attack faculty members for answers. They should not have to demand help when an issue from admissions or records is sprang on them. Most of all, these students should not be discovering issues with their majors and minors, concentrations, advisers or advisement reports last minute, because this not only retains a students time and effort but also their dollar signs.