Celebrating #TransferStudentWeek 2023

Every year, the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS) leads Transfer Student Week during the third week of October. This year, Transfer Student Week is October 16-20, and the theme is “Full Steam Ahead!”

This special week is dedicated to empowering the transfer student community, as well as honoring and expressing gratitude to the faculty, professors, and professionals who provide invaluable support to transfer students.

Community colleges, often underrated gems in the educational landscape, are reshaping the narrative of what defines a quality education. These institutions stand as beacons of inclusivity, opportunity, and affordability – offering access to quality education for students from all walks of life. NISTS, along with many other higher ed organizations including the Cooke Foundation, aim to debunk the stigma surrounding community colleges and celebrate their undeniable value. These institutions empower students with accessible, high-quality education without burdening them with insurmountable student debt.

Here are a few ways you can celebrate Transfer Student Week, whether you’re an education professional, loved one to a transfer student, or a transfer student yourself.

Spread the word! Post about Transfer Student Week and the Cooke Transfer Scholarship on social media

NISTS provided this free marketing kit for this year’s Transfer Student Week celebration. We encourage you to post on social media in celebration of transfer students, and also invite you to share your unique experiences if you’re a transfer student yourself.

You can also share word that the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship application is currently open. This scholarship is for the nation’s top community college students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees at four-year colleges or universities. Each Cooke Scholar has access to generous financial support for two to three years, college advising, and the opportunity to join the Cooke Scholar community – a thriving community of amazing students.

To get an idea of what being a Cooke Scholar could be like, watch this video of 2015 Cooke Transfer Scholar Natasha Piñeiros, who now works as a Dean of Scholar Support at the Cooke Foundation:

Educate yourself about transfer

On the NISTS Guides and Resources page, find research reports and how-to guides about transfer students, the community college experience, barriers transfer students often encounter when trying to earn a four-year degree, and ways to support transfer students. For faculty, we recommend this webinar about supporting transfer student success. For students, we encourage you to check out the NISTS blog or Cooke Foundation blog to read about the diverse experiences and backgrounds of transfer students in the United States.

A great listen is the Good School podcast, produced by a group of students from the Community College of Baltimore County. It aims to answer the question, “what makes a ‘good school?’” and challenge some of the stigma surrounding community college. The podcast currently has five episodes released, each centering on topics like college rankings, the application process, and what leads students to decide between attending community college, a four-year college, or not attending college at all.

If you’re looking for more content surrounding transfer students and how to improve outcomes for community college and transfer students, you might also look into Inside Higher Ed’s Beyond Transfer blog. From transfer success strategies to in-depth analyses of higher education policies, this blog is a great resource for students and professionals alike. For example, check out this checklist of six items colleges can do to facilitate transfer success, or this op-ed written by Cooke Scholar Ryan Liu who transferred from Pasadena City College to Yale University. He was one of only three students in the entire country to transfer to Yale in 2015.

Thank you for helping us celebrate transfer students and those that support their educational journeys this week! The Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship application is currently open and will close on January 11, 2024. We encourage you to share this opportunity with any community college students who might be eligible.