Jan. 23, 2022
CWU Transfer Center Director Featured on National Podcast
Central Washington University Transfer Center Director Megan McConnell was featured in the latest edition of a national podcast, Transfer Nation Talks, which aired January 18.
In the second installment of the Building Transfer Centers series, McConnell spoke about the long-term success of CWU’s university centers and instructional sites in serving the transfer student population. She also touched on Central’s success in reaching transfer students of all ages and academic backgrounds, along with the strategies the university has employed to become one of the top destinations in the state for transfer students.
During the hourlong TN Talks podcast, McConnell discussed how she and her team build relationships with prospective students through outreach, as well as the challenges they have faced since the center opened in February 2020 — six weeks before the pandemic began.
The key, she said, is to demonstrate a level of “differentiation” that encourages students to continue their higher education journeys at CWU.
“What was once ‘non-traditional’ is becoming more and more the norm,” McConnell said. “In the state of Washington, one in four students enrolled in higher education is parenting a child, and the average age of CWU transfer students is 27, so the ways in which we differentiate services and differentiate populations is incredibly important.”
She explained that many transfer students, especially those living away from home for the first time, come with transition and developmental issues that are more like their first-year counterparts, whereas other transfers face transition issues pertaining to childcare, work, or even learning classroom technology.
The CWU Transfer Center offers pre-admission advising to students who are considering transferring to CWU, plus peer mentor appointments to provide guidance, resources, and assistance for current transfer students. The center also supports students who are seeking to finish an incomplete associate’s degree with a reverse transfer option.
McConnell, who came to Central in 2014, has more than 15 years’ experience advising prospective and incoming transfer students. She became the transfer center director after serving as an advisor and recruiter in the Computer Science department for four years. As a first-generation student herself, she has a passion for making higher education more accessible and comprehensible to students.
“I feel like this job was created for me,” she said during the interview.
Transfer Nation (TN) is a digital community that provides collaborative space for professionals who celebrate and advocate for all things transfer. The open-access platform offers seasoned and new professionals a think tank to explore ideas, learn, and increase collective knowledge about the subject.
Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1518.