San Diego State University played host to a meeting organized by the Deputy Sector Navigator for Global Trade & Logistics (DSNGTL) for its Knowledge Community of International Business Programs in Region 10. The focus of the meeting was to discuss issues transfer students from the international business programs at community colleges face once they get to the university level and how to help them have a more successful academic experience. After a brief introduction by Mark Ballam, Managing Director of SDSU’s Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER), DSNGTL, Victor Castillo, opened the dialogue with discussion points centered around student success and retention.
According to meeting participant Maria Palacio, Undergraduate Retention Coordinator at SDSU’s Business Advising Center, one of the most common issues transfer students face is finding themselves on academic probation – when a student’s grade point average falls below a 2.0 – after their first semester at the university. This is even the case for many students who had high GPA’s prior to transferring. One of the reasons for this, according to Palacio, is that transfer students tend to underestimate the rigor of upper-division classes and the amount and type of study required. Instead of studying for answers to a test, which may be sufficient at the community college level, students need to study for comprehension. This led to a discussion on ways to help transfer students better prepare for their transition to the university.
One idea that came up in the discussion was to have student mentors from the Business Advising Center visit the community colleges and speak with students looking to transfer to SDSU’s International Business program. The thought is that students are more willing to listen and take advice from their peers. It was also suggested that SDSU student organizations invite transfer students from the community colleges to their events because connectedness to the campus tends to make a difference in student success.
Additional issues related to admissions and counseling were discussed and it was agreed that another meeting should take place, this time including counselors and academic advisors, since they play an important part in preparing students for transfer.