After Lindenwood University-Belleville announced it will be closing its doors come Fall 2020, SIUE began taking steps to show Lindenwood-Belleville students that SIUE is a feasible option for them.
Director of Undergraduate Admissions Todd Burrell said it’s important to paint SIUE as an option for Lindenwood-Belleville students who want to stay on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River.
“They have the option to go to Lindenwood in Saint Charles, and that is truly their option as a student, but we just want to say we are that option here on the Illinois side if you’d like to stay on the Illinois side,” Burrell said. “Maybe that’s why they chose Lindenwood Belleville in the first place.”
According to Associate Director of Admissions Jennifer Harbaugh, the Transfer Center within the Office of the Registrar, admissions and advising all work closely together to make a transfer student’s transition to SIUE as easy as possible.
“[The Transfer Center] develops and maintains a lot of the tools we use in the recruitment process with transfer students,” Harbaugh said.
The Transfer Center along with respective academic departments develop course equivalency guides. Recently, the transfer center developed a URL that shows Lindenwood-Belleville students how their courses will transfer. The site also shows how the curriculum of some popular majors at Lindenwood-Belleville line up with those at SIUE.
Harbaugh said she recognizes how much of an impact this has in making a prospective transfer student feel comfortable with SIUE.
“That’s huge because if a student is wanting to come into SIUE, that really helps simplify the process and they can see right away, ‘This is how my courses transfer, this is how things apply if I’m looking at one of these programs,’” Harbaugh said.
Once a transfer student is accepted to SIUE, communication with academic advising begins immediately, according to Tyler Phelps, interim director for the office of retention and student success and former assistant director for transition services. At the same time, the Transfer Center works on course equivalencies.
“It’s neat because what will take place is, typically the students will get their admission letter to the university that says [their] next step is to contact academic advising to schedule an appointment,” Phelps said. “All behind the scenes we are getting their academic record [and] their transcripts; the Transfer Center is using that course equivalency guide and making sure those credits are evaluated properly.”
Phelps said after connecting with the transfer student, advising determines if they need to visit the general advising office or their major adviser.
With approximately 40 percent of SIUE’s new students being transfer students, the university offers a special visit day and orientation day to get them acclimated. All transfer students are encouraged to attend admission’s Transfer Visit Day, where academic advising, housing and other departments come together to meet with transfer students. Phelps said advising has also recently created a special Transfer Orientation Program where they can also meet with their academic advisers.
“Our transfer students can either contact us directly and go through a regular old hour-long appointment, or more recently we’ve created our transfer orientation program that usually takes place one or two days out of a semester,” Phelps said. “What that consists of is students come to campus, they have an advising appointment, they get registered, they get their ID, they’re able to talk to people about housing, financial aid, student services and all kinds of stuff.”
Burrell said two students who were planning on attending Lindenwood-Belleville this academic year recently attended a Springboard to Success session after they decided to go to SIUE because of the closure. He said he does not think the closure will boost SIUE enrollment dramatically this year as the university will not close until Fall 2020. However, giving prospective students options is still valuable.
“Lindenwood-Belleville is going to be closing at the end of the academic year next year and they do have an option to go to their campus in Saint Charles, which is not that far away and they can continue getting a degree towards Lindenwood-Belleville, so I don’t think this is going to drastically boost enrollment, but I think it’s going to provide options for students who may not want to after next year make that commute [to Saint Charles] or may not want to start at an institution [that will close soon],” Burrell said.
Students who are thinking about tranfering from Lindenwood-Belleville to SIUE can see how their courses will transfer at http://www.siue.edu/transfer/programs/lindenwood-belleville.shtml. Additionally, they may apply for transfer student scholarships at siue.edu/scholarships.