Visit Day Offers Prospective Transfer Students a Look at GW

University welcomes potential Colonials with networking time, a campus tour and panels on student experience, academic resources.

Laurie Koehler speaks to transfer students. (William Atkins/GW Today)
Laurie Koehler speaks to transfer students. (William Atkins/GW Today)
May 30, 2017

By Ruth Steinhardt

The George Washington University held its first transfer visit day, hosting dozens of students who have confirmed or are considering transferring to GW. Prospective Colonials mingled, engaged with panels on academic resources and student experience and toured the Foggy Bottom Campus.

“You are an important population for us,” Laurie Koehler, vice provost for enrollment management and retention, told the audience during the May 25 gathering.

 “We believe, as an institution committed to access, that transfer students add something really important inside and outside the classroom. That’s why we reserve about 400 spots in our enrollment for students to come in through the transfer path.”

The event’s first panel introduced students to the academic resources that would be available to them as transfers. Panelists included Rebecca Johnson, undergraduate academic advisor in the Elliott School of International Affairs; Helen Lasnik, assistant director of academic advising in the School of Business; Lauren Kaczmar, academic advisor in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences; Tracy Arwari, director of student support and family engagement; Rachel Brown, assistant provost for university career services; and Tim Miller, associate dean of students.

Panelists emphasized the many areas of support available to students who choose to transfer.

“If you’ve chosen GW, you chose a community,” Ms. Arwari said. “We want you to feel like you’re part of that.”

In the evening’s second panel, three GW students who entered through the transfer process and two GW rising sophomores who enrolled right out of high school answered questions about classes, double majoring, challenges specific to transfers and the timelines of individual schools.

GW students Maham Quraishi, Kate Hines and Jamila Vizcaino mentioned resources such as the Student Org Fair and the Multicultural Student Services Center as having helped them feel welcome at GW.

“It was definitely an intense experience for me, coming from community college and also working to doing academics full time,” said Ms. Quraishi, a member of the class of 2020 who transferred to GW after one year at community college. “But that was something that I was looking for and I needed.”

Prospective transfer Madalynn Williams, a rising sophomore currently enrolled at Elon University in Elon, N.C., said she was looking to move to a university and location with a faster pace. Her interest in political communication made Washington, D.C., a natural fit.

“It’s nice” to have a visiting day set aside for prospective transfers, Ms. Williams said, since—though she had considered the university as a high school student—she was never able to visit. Of the schools she was considering in the Washington, D.C., area, she said only GW had a visiting day particular to transfers.

“GW seems like a place I could expand as a person,” Ms. Williams said.

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