Advising for New Transfer Students
Transfer students are an important source of diversity in our community. You bring experience and perspectives from other institutions, locations, and backgrounds that enrich us all. We realize that many of you have had a first-time college experience elsewhere, but we also know that you are new to Lewis & Clark and that we probably do some things differently. It’s essential for first-year transfer students to refer to the FAQs for First Year Students; however, we encourage all transfer students to check it out, as some of the issues may be concerns for you, too. Some questions that you might have about registering for classes and about being a transfer student at L&C include:
- When will my advisor be assigned?
- How do my credits from other institutions transfer?
- Do I need to take placement exams?
- What should I do if a course I need is full?
- Do I need to attend New Student Orientation? What parts are especially important for transfer students?
- How can I become integrated into Lewis & Clark?
- How is LC likely to be different from other places I’ve attended?
- What if I have a disability or learning difference?
When will my advisor be assigned?
Transfer students are generally assigned to the chair of the department of their likely major. This is because only department chairs can decide which courses taken at other institutions can be applied to requirements in the major. However, after the initial meeting, students may change advisors at any time. You will be notified of your advisor when you arrive on campus in August and a meeting will be scheduled for you. If you have advising questions before then, you may contact the office of academic advising (firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-768-7750),
How do my credits from other institutions transfer?
Make sure the registrar’s office has received copies of your final transcripts from other institutions. You will receive a letter from their office informing you how many credits have transferred and which Lewis & Clark requirements have been fulfilled. If you have questions about the process or about how your previous coursework has transferred, you should contact the registrar’s office. For example, if you believe a course should have counted or should be interpreted differently, you are encouraged to provide additional information. If your last name begins with A-L your contact in the registrar’s office is Tiffany Henning (email@example.com). If your last name begins with M-Z your contact is Caitlin Hansen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Do I need to take placement exams?
There are exams to determine placement in foreign languages, math and sciences, and music theory. To find out if you need to take any of these exams, please contact your transfer coordinator in the registrar’s office.
What should I do if a course I need is full?
You may waitlist for classes that do not have RES in the course number. You can put your name on a waitlist using the same screen you would use to register in Webadvisor. After you have put your name on the waitlist, you must register for another course that is open. Make sure to waitlist before you sign up for an open course; once you have registered for an open course you will not be allowed to go back and waitlist.
If your name is on the waitlist and a space becomes available over the summer, the registrar will email your Lewis & Clark email account and you will have 8 days to reply before the spot is offered to someone else. If a spot does not open up over the summer, you can attend the first day of that class and the instructor will explain how he or she will be handling the waitlist.
A course number with RES indicates that some seats have been reserved. To find out if you are eligible for one of these seats, please contact Robin Jarecki (email@example.com)
Do I need to attend New Student Orientation? What parts are especially important for transfer students?
New Student Orientation is a great way to meet other students as well as faculty and staff and to learn about what Lewis & Clark has to offer. You should have received in the mail a GPS booklet especially for transfer students that includes a schedule of common events as well as those designed especially for transfer students. Some highlights of the transfer schedule include:
- the transfer student dinner with a panel discussion in which faculty and students give advice and answer your questions about Lewis & Clark
- the academic fair, where departments and programs from across campus are available to provide information
- a meeting for commuter students
- an informal coffee where continuing and new transfer students have a chance to get acquainted
- a day of service involving outreach to the Portland community and a chance to meet other Lewis & Clark faculty, staff, and students
- a campus-wide picnic including new and returning students
- a Portland scavenger hunt
How can I become integrated into Lewis & Clark?
Let’s be honest, it’s not easy to transition to a new environment and it’s difficult to generalize about “transfer students” because you have taken so many paths in the journeys that have led you to us. One thing that is true for nearly every transfer student is that it takes a little extra effort on your part to discover what your meaningful connections and contributions here will be. As you discover your place, you will find talented faculty, dedicated staff, and enthusiastic students who are eager to join you.
For many Lewis & Clark students, their major department is a significant source of community and identity. Although you may have told us in your admissions materials of your intended major, you will need to officially declare your major with the registrar’s office. This puts you on departmental mailing lists so you can stay informed about events in your department. Declare now—it’s easy to change your major if you change your mind later.
Co-curricular activities are another way to connect. Be sure to attend Pio Fair, an event held annually at the beginning of fall semester in which campus groups and organizations are available to tell you about their activities. Be sure to sign up for the email lists of all you are interested in.
How is LC likely to be different from other places I’ve attended?
The answer to this question is as varied as the other places from which students transfer. However, many transfer students find the workload at Lewis & Clark is heavier than what they have experienced elsewhere. Pay close attention to your syllabus and don’t hesitate to speak with your professors about their expectations. You may find it helpful to let your professors know that you are new to Lewis & Clark, even though you may be enrolled in upper level courses. Our small classes at Lewis & Clark place a premium on attendance and class participation. Expect to play an active role in class and let your professors know if you must be absent. All our professors hold office hours and are happy to see you, not only to discuss concerns but also to talk about your interests and get to know you better.
What if I have a disability or learning difference?
Lewis & Clark College complies with all the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Rachel Orlansky, the director of student support services, is the person to contact over the summer about any kind of disability—learning, physical, or psychological. She can be reached by phone at 503-768-7143 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.