According to the PR Newswire, approximately 60 percent of two-year college students transfer from their first school to go on to complete a four-year degree.
In addition, according to Mike Wallinga, the director of institutional research at Northwestern, “nearly one in 10 students at NW transfers from another school, and about a third of those students come directly from a community college.”
Kelsey Kleinwolterink transferred to NW from Minnesota West Technical and Community College. Kleinwolterink completed her associate’s degree at Minnesota West and came to NW to finish her four-year degree.
Kleinwolterink said she has found transferring to be a difficult but worthwhile experience. It has been easier for her to connect with many different people on NW’s campus, but she has had a hard time finding her place. She said there is a strong social-dynamic contrast between a community college campus and a campus such as Northwestern’s.
“I had to start over and adapt to the culture and social norms of being a student here,” Kleinwolterink said.
Kleinwolterink said she doesn’t regret her time at Minnesota West, and she has had a great experience at NW thus far.
“I like the people I have become good friends with,” Kleinwolterink said. “I love my major and minor combination and couldn’t ask for better professors to learn from.”
Kleinwolterink said her time at Minnesota West also shaped her into who she is as a person.
“I have learned some valuable things on a community college campus that I would not have learned had I come to NW all four years. What I learned and who I met are a part of my story and what has shaped me into the person I am now,” Kleinwolterink said.
Tyler Janssen, who previously attended Indian Hills Community College, transferred to NW so he could pursue music. Janssen said he is happy about his decision.
“Being able to stay in touch with professors has made my college experience seem so much more worth it,” Janssen said. “I also love the people here.”
Sean Wallenburg transferred from Northwest Iowa Community College in the middle of his sophomore year. Wallenburg said he decided to transfer because he wanted a school that provided him with more opportunities and a major in ministry.
“I am a person that loves living in community with other people, and I wanted to indulge myself in that,” Wallenburg said.
Janssen and Wallenburg agreed that classes and time management were more difficult for them when they came to NW than it was at the schools they had previously attended.
“Time management has been more difficult since being at NW because of all the different activities that are offered here that I’m interested in,” Kleinwolterink said.
Janssen, Wallenburg and Kleinwolterink will finish their degrees at NW but will always remember the impact of their previous colleges.