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Ohio credit transfer initiatives help to make the process for transfer students simple

In fall 2021, 241 students took their first classes at Miami University. But it wasn’t their first year in college — they were transfer students.

Transferring to Miami

Gigi Garceau, a junior psychology major from Cleveland, attended American University in Washington before transferring to Miami. Garceau said she decided to transfer due to a combination of the tuition cost and the highly competitive environment at American. 

“It’s very politically charged,” Garceau said. “I was just kind of uncomfortable with the level of discourse on a day-to-day basis.”

Garceau said the transfer process was simple and the Miami administration was helpful. The application was the same as the open enrollment one, except instead of clicking ‘open’ she clicked ‘transfer.’

Garceau also applied to transfer to Ohio State University (OSU) but couldn’t find housing. Miami administrators helped her find a residence hall she liked and made her feel comfortable. 

Transferring out of Miami

Austin Shields, senior finance and operations management double major, transferred from Miami to OSU in fall 2021.

During his time at Miami, he was on the pre-med track. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Shields realized he wanted to pursue his other passion of business.

Shields said part of the reason he decided to transfer to OSU’s Fisher College of Business was that he wouldn’t have felt welcome in the Farmer School of Business (FSB).

“You don’t see as much diversity within Farmer, at least from my perspective because I was never in Farmer,” Shields said. “I was always in the College of Arts and Science (CAS) at Miami, but I knew people in Farmer and they just kind of reinforced that statement. Being a part of a minority group, I chose to go to a place that was more friendly and accepting.”

Shields said he didn’t have to communicate with Miami administration much about transferring. 

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“After OSU received my transcripts, I [contacted Miami’s] Office of Admissions and I was like, ‘I’m transferring to OSU, I’ve already received my transcripts and I’ve already accepted my offer,’” Shields said. “‘I need to just put in my account that I’m not a returning student,’ and they just simply said okay and did that.”

Shields is now listed as an inactive student with Miami, but he has the opportunity to reactivate his student status at Miami if he decides that OSU isn’t for him.

Both Garceau and Shields had their credits transfer to and from Miami smoothly

Carolyn Haynes is Miami’s Ohio Department of Higher Education representative for Ohio Transfer 36 (OT36) and Transfer Assurance Guides (TAGs), which makes sure course credits transfer between Ohio universities. 

OT36 helps students transfer credits for general education courses. It has six categories that align with most of the Miami Plan requirements. The TAGs help students receive credit for introductory courses in their major. 

“[Say] a student successfully completes a course which is an introduction to macroeconomics at an Ohio public university (which has been approved by the statewide faculty panel to meet the approved outcomes for that TAG) and then transfers to Miami,” Haynes wrote. “That student would receive credit for the course at Miami that has been approved for that same TAG (in this case, ECO 202).”

If a student is transferring to Miami from an out-of-state college or university, they need to provide a syllabus and other materials, such as assignments, reading lists and a weekly schedule, for the course they want to be transferred. 

“It was so easy, and everyone in the administration at Miami is super helpful,” Garceau said. “So if I had any questions, they were always answered right away, so I thought it was really easy.”

Making the transition work

Garceau said the advice she would give to people going through the transfer process is to go to social events specifically for transfer students and to put yourself out there.

One of the social events Garceau went to was a breakfast during the first week of the semester where she got to meet other students.

Garceau said even though it can be scary because the other students at these events are strangers, they’re one of the best ways to meet people.

“Get out of your room and go to these [events],” Garceau said. “Even though it seems daunting, because it’s like ‘oh my gosh, being with a bunch of people I don’t know, hanging out together.’ But that’s how I’ve met so many people. Doing the little school things.”