Transfer and Commuter Parents & Families
by Devon — last modified by Jennifer on Nov 15, 2016 02:05 PM
Most transfer students enter UCLA at the junior level – meaning they have completed 90 quarter units (60 semester units), general education and many, if not all, lower-division major prerequisites. Transfer students – over 2,000 each year – thrive at UCLA and have access to numerous campus resources and support. However, they often face significant changes in academics and social life. It is very normal to experience some discomfort with these changes and it will take some time to adjust.Jumping in.
Additionally, many transfer students are also commuters. While most undergraduate students live in the campus and Westwood communities, students commuting from home or further neighborhoods – even those entering as first-year students – often meet similar challenges as incoming transfer students.
Common academic adjustments for incoming transfer students include:
- Making up credits that did not transfer
- Exploring and adjusting to different requirements for the student’s major; possibly changing majors (although this is unlikely for transfers)
- Adjusting to course loads and expectations and the quarter system
- Class size and availability
- Changes in academic advising and new relationships with professors
- Exploring internships and research opportunities
- Career counseling
Social life adjustments are often harder than the academic adjustments.Transfer students have experienced the academic side of college prior to transferring and have some idea of what to expect. But the social side of college life varies from campus to campus and is something a student cannot prepare for until arriving. Oftentimes, transfer students have to be more assertive in finding a group of friends, as many friendships are established during the first year of studies. It is not uncommon for transfer students to feel isolated and disconnected after arriving on campus – almost like a first-year student all over again!
It is important for transfer students to seek places to begin to establish friendships. One of the more common places is at parties where alcohol becomes the social lubricant, and there is a captive audience of people to meet. While parties can be a way to meet new people, it is important to find a balance of activities so that alcohol does not become the focus.
Social activities that will help to meet people:
- Attend New Student Orientation
- Seek out peers from high school or community college that may also be attending UCLA
- Make an effort to form study groups or talk to others in class
- Reach out to and join student organizations (suggestion: attend the Student Activities Fair – there will be over 1,000 student clubs and organizations looking for new members)
- Join intramural athletic teams
- Attend residence hall functions (if student lives on campus) and get involved
- Pledge a sorority/fraternity
- Volunteer with the Volunteer Center.
New Student Orientation (July-September)
What is Transfer Orientation? What will my student attend? What can I attend?
One-day Orientation sessions for transfer students are offered throughout July, August, and September. Most importantly, students will enroll in fall quarter classes during this time. The session is also an extensive introduction to academic and campus life at UCLA, including:
- General and departmental-specific information sessions on course planning and fulfilling graduation requirements;
- The process of registering and enrolling;
- Workshops and presentations on student services on campus, such as financial aid and extracurricular activities;
- And thinking ahead to graduate programs, professional schools, and a career plan.
Family Orientation, which also occurs throughout July and August (and falls on the third day of each first-year Orientation) is designed to provide you with information on: the factors leading to achievement at UCLA, the role of families in promoting student achievement, graduation requirements and curriculum alternatives, student services information, how students are advised regarding courses and campus involvement, and the environment at UCLA. At the session you will also have the opportunity to meet with undergraduate student counselors and hear about their adjustments to UCLA, tour the campus, and meet UCLA faculty and administrators. While scheduling corresponds to sessions for first-year students, parents and family of transfer students are more than welcome to attend Family Orientation!
Registration for summer Orientation begins June 6 via MyUCLA.
For more information regarding Orientation, or if your student is unable to attend, contact New Student and Transition Programs.
Bruin Family Weekend (November)
What is Bruin Family Weekend? Is attendance mandatory?
Our Parent & Family Weekend, in the middle of Fall Quarter, is an opportunity for families to see students in their new community, learn more about the University’s curriculum and traditions, attend lectures and workshops, and ask questions about programs and services. You can meet the Chancellor, the deans, academic advisers, and other faculty and staff that work with our undergraduates in their educational endeavors. You will discover more about your student’s life at UCLA as you participate in various receptions, open houses and information sessions.
While attendance is not mandatory, we hope that you will visit us in October to take a look inside UCLA, its beautiful buildings and scenic campus, as well as the academic life, resources, research, and opportunities that shape your student’s college experience. Visit Bruin Family Weekend online to learn more.
Commuter students lead a dualistic lifestyle.
Adjusting to college life is a transition, but for commuter students they are now renegotiating household rules and attempting to become immersed in fabric of college life without living on campus. Additionally, commuter students often struggle with the sense of belonging because they are not residents of the UCLA community.
Transition at Home
Commuter students are still living at home with their families and are expected to abide by the same household rules while exploring their various freedoms at college. It is often helpful to renegotiate the expectations for a college-aged student in order for your student to grow and experience the changes their fellow first-years are experiencing. In discussing what is now accepted of your college-aged commuter, you are not only maintaining certain expectations in your household, you are also encouraging your student to maximize their college experience.
While commuter students are getting used to the new academic adjustments like everyone else, the social adjustments can be quite different. Often, commuting students must be more assertive in finding a group of friends, as many friendships are established in residence halls or spending time socially on campus. It is not uncommon for commuter students to feel isolated and disconnected after arriving on campus.
It is important for commuter students to seek places to begin to establish friendships. One of the more common places is at parties where alcohol becomes the social lubricant, and there is a captive audience of people to meet. While parties can be a way to meet new people, it is important to find a balance of activities so that alcohol does not become the focus.