Overheard in Transfer Committee — It’s Your Turn Transfer Applicants

Admit It! transfers, you’re ready for it to be your turn for all of the committee excitement.  Well that time has come.  We began committee deliberations for fall transfer applicants this afternoon!  Who’s excited?  We know we are.  We’ve spent the past few months reviewing your applications and learning your stories.  Now it’s time to decide who joins the classes of 2015 and 2016.  So without further ado…

Overheard in Transfer Committee: It’s nice to see she’s making her way through the GERs.

What the heck does that mean you ask?  Well it means that the student who we were reviewing was taking a good assortment of classes across the curriculum.  William & Mary is a liberal arts university.  We don’t hide from that.  In fact, we’re quite proud of it.  Yes we understand that college is a time that you get to specialize and take the classes you’re super interested in.  But we also know there’s value in studying diverse subjects, in being pushed outside of your comfort zone, in approaching learning from a variety of pedagogies.  So here at W&M we have a system of General Education Requirements or GERs which ensure that all students at least get their feet wet in a broad variety of subjects before they graduate.

The particular applicant we were reviewing was hoping to transfer to W&M as an incoming junior.  We of course assume that the farther along you are in college, the more you’ll want to spend your time at W&M focusing on your major(s) or minor.  So we were glad to see that she had taken classes that would transfer to W&M as fulfilling most of our GERs.  That way, once at W&M, she really could pick and choose her classes instead of worrying about a variety of graduate requirements.  In other words, she could spend the bulk of her time at W&M in the departments in which she was most interested.  And it was specific W&M academic departments that in fact attracted her to W&M in the first place.  That’s what we would all call a win-win right?

Certainly transfer students do not have to fulfill every single GER prior to transferring.  However, W&M freshmen and sophomores certainly take several if not most of their GER classes during their first few years on campus.  Therefore, we like to see prospective transfer students behave similarly.  What we don’t always like to see is transfer students who are clearly taking only the classes they really like and who are in fact avoiding the classes that are outside their comfort zone (for example the English major who’s avoiding science courses or the math major who’s avoiding history courses).  Being challenged is a good thing.  Being liberally educated is a good thing.  This applicant was doing a good thing.

So transfer applicants, continue with us on this journey.  Committee will last for several more days, and we’ll have another “Overheard in Committee” blog for you before it’s all said and done.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission