Non-traditional Student Success Director


Currently, transfer students into our traditional programs can get lost in the shuffle with getting integrated within the community.

Tinto (1993) posited that undergraduate students’ persistence is influenced not only by their own characteristics, goals, and commitments but also by their experiences academically and socially within the institution. Academic experiences include interaction with staff and faculty both inside and outside the classroom as well as classroom learning experiences. Social interactions include both formal or institutionally provided co-curricular
or “student-life activities” (Kuh, Gonyea, & Palmer, 2001, p. 3) and informal
interactions with peers in residential facilities or other institutional settings such as places to study. Both these social and academic interactions contribute to a student’s sense of belonging to the institution (Townsend & Wilson, 2009).

Suggestions for Northwestern

In order to form a seamless transition from community college to NWC for students with varying majors, a Transfer Student Success Director needs to be hired to coordinate the processes that take place between admissions, the registrar, financial aid, the department of the student’s major as well as the students. This person would also be responsible for the development and maintenance of an online system to help transfer students who do not live on campus integrate into the community.

It would also be important for non-traditional students in face-to-face classes to have a place to go on campus where they can feel “at home” between classes, such as a commuter lounge. This integration experience would allow students to learn more about and feel part of the NWC community.

Strategic Plan

Goal 3.1 – Pursue strategic enrollment growthIncrease residential undergraduate enrollment to 1,050 by 2023.

Goal 3.3 – Pursue strategic enrollment growthDevelop and resource an integrated marketing strategy that enhances Northwestern College’s reputation for intellectual rigor, vocational success, and select programs of strength.

Additional Resourcesl

Duggan, M., & Pickering, J. (2008). Barriers to transfer student academic success and retention. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice,9(4), 437-459.

Fauria, R. M., & Fuller, M. B. (2015). Transfer student success: Educationally purposeful activities predictive of undergraduate GPA. Research & Practice in Assessment, 10 Retrieved from

Handel, S., & Strempel, E. (Eds.). (2016). Transition and transformation : Fostering transfer student success. Dahlonega, Georgia: University of North Georgia.

Kuh, G., Gonyea, R. M., & Palmer, M. (2001). The disengaged commuter student: Fact or fiction? Commuter Perspectives, 27(1), 2-5. Retrieved on January 3, 2007, at

Townsend, B.K. & Wilson, K.B. (2009). The academic and social integration of persisting community college transfer students. Journal of College Student Retention, 10(4), 405-423. Retrieved from