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As he and his father, a UK alumnus, walked through the College of Engineering buildings, Blagg noticed something different about his dad.
“He had this ‘giddy college kid look,’ and I thought it was very exciting that a university could leave that kind of imprint on someone even so many years after he graduated,” Blagg said. “I thought, ‘I want to go here.’”
So Blagg transferred from the community college he attended near his hometown of Paducah to UK in order to pursue his dream of earning a degree in computer science. He immediately enrolled in the UK 201 course designed to introduce transfer students to college life at their new university.
“It offered a lot of free resources to help transfer students get acquainted with the university, its features and services, “ Blagg said. “Knowing that UK had a class just for transfer students to help us acclimate made me feel like I was really important and that UK actually cared about my success.”
Mike Shanks, director of the new UK Transfer Center, hopes even more transfer students will have that feeling in the near future. The office space, located in Room 11 of the Funkhouser Building, is designed to support transfer students from the time they want to learn about deadlines for special transfer scholarships to when they have financial aid questions once they are Wildcats.
“We've taken an approach of wanting to create a one-stop shop for students who want to transfer to UK,” said Shanks.
The hope is for these prospective students to have a home base as they try to figure out how their credits will transfer at UK and the myriad of other unique questions they may have.
“The Transfer Center is a place to get those first questions answered so that once the students arrive at UK and meet with their academic advisors, they are more prepared for that transition,” Shanks said.
Staff in the new center is there solely to work with transfer students as they navigate the admissions and pre-advising processes.
“We have a staff of six people including myself,” said Shanks. “We have five transfer enrollment coordinators that are assigned various parts of the alphabet that will work to answer or to get the answers for people in regard to transferring to UK.”
Staff members are also eager to share new opportunities such as Transfer Visit Days, which include information sessions and campus tours especially designed for the unique needs of those wanting to attend UK after starting at a two-year or four-year institution. Another feature the team is touting is the Transfer Living Learning Program, a residential community created to support transfer students as they complete their first year on campus.
All of these efforts are part of a renewed focus to reach out to prospective transfer students. Shanks and other members of the Transfer Center team will take part in a virtual college fair from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EST) Wednesday, March 5.
“Transfer Madness” is a partnership with other Kentucky four-year universities as well as the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). Students at KCTCS institutions as well as other interested transfer students can participate in live chats with the Transfer Center team. Registration and login information can be found here: http://transfermadness.org/.
While reaching out to KCTCS students is important to Shanks, he also wants to make sure the entire UK community is involved in helping transfer students feel at home once they arrive on campus.
That is why the UK Transfer Center will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, in Room 11 of the Funkhouser Building. Students, faculty, staff and administrators are welcome to check out the new facility and meet the staff while enjoying light refreshments.
The goal of all of these initiatives is to support transfer students and help them reach their higher education goals.
This coming May, Kyle Blagg will walk across the stage at Rupp Arena with his Computer Science degree in hand. It’s a moment he has dreamed about since that first visit three years ago.
“My decision to transfer to UK will shape my life from here on out,” Blagg said. “I have certain goals and I think UK is the springboard to achieving those.”
For more information on transferring to UK, visit: http://www.uky.edu/Admission/transfer.htm.
For more information about transfer scholarships, visit:
For contact information of the entire Transfer Center team, visit: http://www.uky.edu/Admission/transfer-contact.