Transitioning to a new college

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  • Approximately 250 students transfer to Marquette every school year.
  • More students, approximately 200, transfer in the fall semester.
  • Students switch to Marquette because of aspects like its diversity of majors, urban location and sense of community.

Colleen Rooney, a senior in the College of Communication, did not want to transfer to Marquette.

She had already established herself at Xavier University, but unfortunate circumstances left her little choice but to start over at a new school.

Rooney was a victim of sexual assault, and her parents made Rooney transfer for her safety.

"I felt stubborn when I transferred," Rooney said. "I was unsure because I was taking on a new place. (Transferring) creates a very disturbed feeling."

Rooney transferred to Marquette in the middle of her sophomore year. She said it took one and a half years to really become accustomed to Marquette. Although people here have been helpful, she said the key to making the transition is one's mindset.

"It's a two-way street," Rooney said. "A transfer student has to be willing to let others help."

Rooney said making connections with people in the Marquette community has helped her find her niche. For example, she is a program assistant with Intercultural Programs in the Office of Student Development. She has worked with transfer students during New Student Orientation, giving them advice.

"It's about using the stuff you've learned and the character you've developed in a different environment, and applying it here," Rooney said. "But you have to have the perseverance and the motivation to apply yourself in a new environment because it's possible."

About 250 students — 200 in the fall and 50 in the spring — transfer to Marquette each year, said Connie Bennett, senior assistant dean of admissions.

The breadth and diversity of majors offered by Marquette is one main reason students transfer here, Bennett said. Other reasons include its urban location and having friends who attend the school.

Bennett also highlighted Marquette's spirit of community, which can attract students to the school and make them feel at home once they arrive.

"Marquette students are very welcoming," Bennett said. "We're not a closed campus. Our students help to welcome (transfer students) and make their experience what it is."

Jill Patrick, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, transferred to Marquette last semester because she wanted to switch her major to physical therapy. Her previous school, Drake University, did not have the program.

Patrick said the transition has been easy because she made lots of friends quickly through her classes and her floor in Carpenter Tower.

Andy Paluck, a junior in the College of Business Administration, said he was optimistic about transferring to Marquette last semester. Nevertheless, Paluck, who lives in Schroeder Hall, said he felt a little afraid of jumping into a new school with new people.

"I'm a shy person, and coming here into a sophomore dorm where everyone has a group of friends has been hard," Paluck said.

But Paluck said he has found friends on his floor in Schroeder and by joining the club Ultimate Frisbee team.

Tyler Accardi, a senior in the College of Business Administration, has made the transition to a new school multiple times. He attended Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Mich., Milwaukee Area Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He said Marquette's campus is friendlier than average when compared to other campuses.

Accardi settled on Marquette because of its academic reputation and the strength of the business school, but he said he really liked the university's feel.

"It's a vibrant place to be," Accardi said.

Megan Sajdak, a senior in the College of Communication, transferred from Valparaiso University two years ago because of Marquette's advertising program and Campus Ministry opportunities.

The transition to a new school is different for everyone, Sajdak said.

"Change is difficult," Sajdak said. "I was a little nervous, but I was excited to meet new people and be a part of the Marquette community."