University gets a surge of transfer students

Josh LaBellaNews Writer

Along with the many students returning to Southern this year, there are about 800 new transfer students joining the student body.

One such student, Katie Vitali, a junior pre-nursing major, said Southern helped make the transition as smooth as possible.

“It’s been really easy,” said Vitali. “I got all my classes picked out and I’m ready to start.”

Vitali said she had a friend who went to Southern so she knew what she needed to do before the semester started. She said the nursing program is what brought her to the university.

“I transferred from Stone Academy in West Haven,” Vitali said. “I graduated with a medical assistant’s degree and I knew I wanted to come here for nursing.”

Vitali said she came to campus a few weeks before the semester began to get her bearings of the campus and find out where all her classes are. Overall, she said, the transfer process has been simple.

“I’m feeling really good about my first semester at Southern,” Vitali said.

Sandra Taylor, a sophomore elementary education major, said she transferred to Southern because she heard the education program was good. She said registering for classes was one of the easiest parts of the process.

“I transferred from Naugatuck Valley,” Taylor said. “It was easy to pick classes. I didn’t have a hard time at all and everyone was willing to help.”

Taylor did say the move was something of a culture shock.

“It wasn’t what I expected,” she said. “It’s very different from where I went. This is a real college. I’m just trying to get a feel for how things work.”

Christopher Carter also transferred from Naugatuck Valley this semester. He said he was happy to join the institution and get started.

“It’s a nice campus,” the sophomore special education major said. “My dad graduated here and I think it was the best choice for my major.”

Carter said the transfer process was “fairly easy.”

“Some teachers helped me picked my classes and I’m feeling pretty good about how this year will go,” said Carter.

Sal Rizza, director of new student and sophomore programs, said there are more new transfer students then there have been in years past.

“It’s a big number,” said Rizza. “We normally see about 750 new transfer students in the fall semester.”

Rizza said the preparation process the school used for transfer students was different than before in that they now spread out the registration, orientation and advising over several session instead of packing it into one day.

“We wanted to give more personalized attention to the students transferring here,” said Rizza. “We wouldn’t be able to do that if we had 50 or 60 students come here at once, we just don’t have the advising capacity.”

Rizza said this year they gave individual advising sessions as far back as April all the way through the beginning of the semester.

“We spent a lot of time looking at transcripts and aligning the credits so that we were able to match their credits with requirements,” he said.

According to Rizza, they also offered four “transfermation” programs where they had orientation, went over the logistics of the process and invited faculty to meet students. He also said there were luncheon and breakfast events for transfer students that were well attended.

“We will continue to offer transfer students programs throughout the year,” said Rizza. “We have a lot more students in the right classes than ever before.”


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