UNC Greensboro continues to be a popular university for transfer students, with more than one-third of UNCG’s undergraduate population beginning their academic career at another institution. In Fall 2023, 9 percent more transfer students enrolled than the previous Fall semester. One of the largest resources for these students is the Transfer2Transfer mentorship program.
Transfer2Transfer is a partnership with Mentor Collective that pairs first-year transfer students with a volunteer transfer student mentor who is in at least their second year at UNCG.
A NEW EXPERIENCE
Alexis Kirkland transferred to UNCG in Fall 2022 from Eastern Michigan University looking for a new experience.
“I wanted to get out of Michigan,” she says. “I didn’t want to live there for the rest of my life, I wanted to travel the world and explore. UNCG seemed so well rounded, and I just knew that, at first look, this was the place I wanted to go.”
UNCG’s elementary education program drew Kirkland and the Transfer2Transfer program was a bonus while she was trying to find her way.
“I was paired with a mentor who was in the same major as me, and it was nice to have someone there if I had a question or just needed someone to talk with,” Kirkland says. “I saw what my mentor did for me and wanted to do that for someone else, to help them navigate their way through UNCG.”
Kirkland is now a mentor to Ashley Castillo, another elementary education major with a minor in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Castillo transferred to UNCG in Fall 2023 from Piedmont Community College in Roxboro, North Carolina.
“A friend of mine went to UNCG, and I heard good things, so I decided to apply. It was also close to home. It’s a good environment with nice people and solid programs as well,” says Castillo.
For Castillo, the mentorship program has helped her step outside of her comfort zone and battle the loneliness that can come from being somewhere new.
“At first, it was a challenge for me to just go outside of my room because I was new here. But Alexis’ mentorship gave me a friend to talk to already,” she says.
More than one-third of UNCG’s undergraduate population began their academic career at another institution.
Transfer students make up around half of UNCG’s graduating class each year
More than 1600 new transfer students were enrolled in the Fall 2023 semester, 9 percent more than Fall 2022
Transfer students make up about half of UNCG’s graduating class each year.
More than 1600 new transfer students were enrolled in the Fall 2023 semester, 9 percent more than Fall 2022.
BEYOND JUST A TRANSFER
Created in 2021, the Transfer2Transfer program is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and matches up to 450 mentees with mentors each fall. The program is managed by UNCG’s Division of Student Success.
“Every student’s success story — whether they started here or transferred here — is a triumph for our entire university. Our transfer students enrich UNC Greensboro with their unique perspectives and diverse backgrounds and are integral members of our vibrant community,” says Regina McCoy, associate vice-provost for retention and student success.”
Transfer students are also able to join the UNCG chapter of Tau Sigma National Honor Society, a national honor society that is specifically for transfer students and provides another connection point for them. The University’s chapter has more than 150 members.
Outside of transfer-specific resources, new students can take advantage of everything UNCG has to offer, including more than 250 clubs and organizations, as well as academic support like the Academic Achievement Center for peer-tutoring, the Multiliteracy Centers, and the Math Help Centers.
“It’s clear that a successful transition for these students involves more than faculty and administrative guidance; it hinges on cultivating a deep sense of belonging and active engagement,” says McCoy. “I want to highlight the critical importance of peer-to-peer support in this endeavor. This support transcends academic assistance; it’s about creating an inclusive atmosphere where all Spartans have the opportunity to thrive, innovate, and lead.”
PASSING THE TORCH
While the Transfer2Transfer program initially intrigued Kirkland, campus events and the elementary education program cemented her decision to transfer to UNCG.
“I cannot recommend the elementary education program enough. The professors challenge us, and they are there for us. I couldn’t imagine being in a better program at any other college,” Kirkland says. “Campus events are also a fun way to connect with other people all around campus. You just meet a cool variety of people and it’s an opportunity to get your mind off classes.”
Both students say the Transfer2Transfer program helped to get them settled at the University. Even though Castillo is still in her first semester, she’s already thinking others she can help.
“Alexis is busy, but she still manages her time and checks in with me to see how I’m doing. Now, I want to be a mentor in the program as well and pass it on just like she has.”
Story by Avery Craine Powell, University Communications
Photography by David Lee Row, University Communications