When Danielle Terry first transferred to Ohio University from Bowling Green State University in the fall of 2008, Ohio University was a strange and new place for her.
"When I came here, I knew no one," she said. "The main issues that I had were understanding the DARS (the system that analyzes degree requirements) and understanding the campus. I was confused by the whole east, west and south green."
A year later, Terry, a junior restaurant, hotel and tourism major, has joined a new group of 12 students, called Transfer Ambassadors, to help recruit transfer students to OHIO and serve as a support system for transfers as they begin the transition to a new institution.
"In a way, I'm not doing it for myself. I'm doing it for other transfers," she said. "I want them to know that there is always someone there to talk to them about any questions they have."
Undergraduate Admissions started recruiting for Transfer Ambassadors in August. Jessica Wright Stage, assistant director for transfer recruitment, said that the group was created to bring a face to transfer students and to address common concerns such as transferring credit, housing, campus life, financial aid and moving from a semester to quarter system.
"Ambassadors have one-on-one contact with potential transfers," said Wright Stage. "(Prospective transfers) will get a student perspective in addition to an admissions office perspective."
By utilizing the Transfer Ambassadors, Wright Stage said Undergraduate Admissions wants qualified would-be students to realize the quality education available at Ohio University, not only because of the nationally-ranked programs at the school, but also because of the unique campus experience and the success of alumni.
"Transfer students are a unique segment of the undergraduate population in that they arrive on campus already having college experience. We want transfer students to know they are valued and welcome at Ohio University," she said.
Craig Cornell, vice provost for enrollment management, said OHIO has seen great growth in its population of transfer students in the past few years. Transfer students are a population that is highlighted in Vision Ohio, he noted, and the Transfer Ambassadors will be part of the efforts of Undergraduate Admissions to take the needs of transfer students into consideration.
"We want to make sure when they do go through (the transfer) process that it's a smooth process," Cornell said.
Jennifer Crowe, a senior history and education double major and Transfer Ambassador, also started at OHIO in the fall of 2008 and said she came for the academic programs in the College of Education. She started taking classes at Edison Community College while she was still in high school. Crowe said that she was close to finishing her associates degree, so she stayed at Edison.
"I was always planning to go to a four-year institution because I do want to get my masters degree," she said. "I know I needed to make that change."
"One of the biggest reasons I came here is because it had the programs that I wanted — it had reputable programs that I wanted. The tour pretty much sealed the deal. We came in March, everything was green. It was so pretty."
Transfer Ambassadors will visit community colleges across Ohio during the winter intersession to give students a chance to get answers from someone who has already been through the transfer process.
Ambassadors Crowe and Terry are going to visit with students at Edison and Owens Community College, respectively, this winter break. Other institutions in the lineup include Sinclair, Lorain and Columbus State community colleges.
Wright Stage said the Transfer Ambassadors will also participate in related online chats and be an integral part of OHIO Transfer Days, a campus visit program for prospective and admitted transfer students, sponsored by Undergraduate Admissions.