New at CSE: Coordinator aids transfer students with transition on campus
In the Fall 2019 semester, the Center for Student Excellence introduced a new service designed to aid students who are transitioning to the university from another school.
The transfer student coordinator is Hunter Waddell, who assists incoming upperclassmen in navigating their transfer credits and acclimating to the new academic environment.
Waddell explained that he helps transfer students with 30 credit hours or more to figure out which of their credits fit into their degree’s curriculum. He also shows them how to use the student features in My Den, such as Moodle and Webmail.
“For the most part, if the transfer student comes to me and has questions, I will walk them through how all their credits transfer, let them know how different things might plug into their curriculum and teach them how to use LEONet, teach them how to log onto their Webmail for the first time, Moodle, all that good stuff,” said Waddell.
Waddell also makes referrals for transfer students to other academic departments on campus.
“Say a student is coming in and they are a nursing major—I’ll walk through all their credits with them, how it came over, let them know which credits will definitely go towards their degree,” explained Waddell. “From there, my job is to connect with a faculty member in the school of nursing that will actually advise them and let them know 100 percent, this will count as this.”
The coordinator mentioned that while some classes may not transfer precisely, some departments may be able to implement substitutions. In addition to substitutions, transfer students receive priority during class registration.
“As long as they get accepted before registration starts, they’re eligible to register priority just like any other student coming in,” said Waddell. “They get their own enrollment date and everything.”
Waddell explained that it is not necessary that students meet with him again after their transition and first semester, but they are welcome to do so.
“However, I do, during the semester, conduct academic checkpoints, different checkpoints during the semester,” said Waddell. “I’ll send out emails, kind of like a wellness check.”
Waddell mentioned that he wants to plan virtual events for transfer students this semester since interaction is limited.
“As a new student, it’s hard when you have to wear a mask and everything is hybrid,” claimed Waddell. “You might not even be really coming to campus, but you still want to have that social interaction with someone. I’m trying to plan some stuff for this semester for students to engage with me, get some helpful information about the semester and also engage with other students.”
One of the most important aspects of entering a new academic atmosphere is to not be afraid to ask questions to both your superiors and your peers, according to Waddell.
“My biggest message is: talk to me, ask questions,” commented Waddell. “I’m here for you even if you think it’s the silliest question in the world. Chances are, I’ve probably heard it before and it’s probably important to you.”
Emilee Edwards, a sophomore political science major, shared that the Transfer Student Coordinator program was an essential element in her decision to attend the university and in the ease of the transition.
“Mr. Waddell was the most helpful asset in my transfer to SELU,” shared Edwards. “Getting back into the groove of school had me very anxious, and I wasn’t sure which steps to take to make the most out of my time at Southeastern. Hunter’s door was always open for me to ask questions and receive advice, and for that, I am forever grateful.”
Edwards believes the program can be beneficial for all transfer students.
“For any future transfer students coming to Southeastern, I would highly encourage utilizing the Coordinator program in place,” said Edwards. “It may seem silly at first, but after meeting with someone like Hunter Waddell, it is more than worth it. Even after a year of being here, I still utilize this service because it is of such great help.”