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Spring transfer students adjust to campus life

Jenn Metz | Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Eight new students enrolled at Notre Dame for this semester, while Saint Mary’s added 15 students as spring transfers.

The Notre Dame Office of Admissions received 80 applications for spring, which was a “fairly standard number,” according to Catherine Linn, admissions counselor and transfer admissions coordinator at the University.

Typically, the University receives between 75 and 100 applicants, she said.

Of the 80 applicants, 14 were offered admission to Notre Dame and eight accepted. All transfer students that enrolled at the University in the spring are second-semester sophomores, Linn said. Seven of the students entered the College of Arts and Letters, while one joined the College of Science.

As stated on the Office of Admissions Web site, transfer students to the University may not come into the College of Business or the School of Architecture. Linn said the Office “does not foresee a change in this policy.”

Linn said the University requires that all transfer students complete at least one full academic year at another institution, but “most often, spring transfer students have spent three semesters at another school.”

All eight students received on-campus housing, she said.

Saint Mary’s Office of Admissions received 32 applications for spring and 14 enrolled, Sue Ushela, assistant director of admissions and transfer coordinator at the College, said.

The majority of the 14 are first- or second-semester sophomores, she said, but there are also second-semester freshmen on the list.

Saint Mary’s evaluates transfer applicants on the qualifications that the student has completed two consecutive semesters of transferable college work. The applicant must have earned a 3.0 grade point average, Ushela said.

All spring transfer students at Saint Mary’s received on-campus housing, she said.

The transfer students at both schools took part in orientation programs to help the transition to their new campuses, the admissions counselors said.

The theme for Transfer Orientation this spring was “Destination ND” at the University, Linn said.

Students arrived on campus Jan. 11 to move into their new residence halls. That afternoon, Transfer-O began, led by a committee of eight current students who had previously transferred to Notre Dame.

“The committee did a wonderful job of welcoming the new students and their families to campus,” Linn said.

The Orientation featured separate discussion panels for students and their parents, where the committee answered questions “ranging from dorm activities to class sign up to student life in the spring on campus,” she said.

The transfer students and their families celebrated a welcome Mass in the Log Cabin Chapel said by Fr. Greg Green. At the Mass, the students received Notre Dame medals, blessed by University President Fr. John Jenkins, Linn said. The Mass was followed by “Dinner in the Dome.”

The new students attended an information fair Jan. 13 with “a number of different offices on campus,” Linn said, naming Campus Ministry, RecSports, Campus Security and Financial Aid as examples.

“They learned about ways to get involved on campus and found where to get support during their transition to Notre Dame,” she said.

Following the information fair, the students met with their academic deans and signed up for classes.

That evening, the students, along with students who had previously transferred to the University, attended a dinner in the LaFortune Ballroom.

Ushela said the transfer students at the College attended an orientation that introduced them to the campus as well as to “key people,” like representatives from Residence Life, Athletics, Security, Student Affairs and Academic Advising.

“We try to touch base with all the key components on campus,” she said. The orientation for transfer students allows students to be “aware of where to go and who to talk to if they have questions.”