Published September 12, 2019
A steady stream of students flowed through the Learning Resource Center on the campus of Dodge City Community College Monday for the second annual DC3 Transfer Fair.
The Transfer Fair, hosted by the Connection Center and Title V, gave the hundreds of students who attended the opportunity to question representatives from nearly two dozen four-year universities one-on-one to clarify transfer details, discuss specifics about academic programs, scholarships, and various requirements.
Representatives from most Kansas colleges as well as Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri attended the event.
The Transfer Fair was intended to be more than simply informational. Chloe Wurst, Title V advising specialist at DC3, sees the event as an opportunity to generate involvement and engagement in the students, as well as develop some of the interpersonal and soft skills many employers say are lacking in recent college graduates.
“One of the purposes is obviously to get resources to students so they have clarity,” Wurst said, “but it’s much more than that. It’s a space where students have the opportunity to gain information, and just as importantly, develop better relational skills, develop information gathering and organization, and understand how to facilitate conversations with professionals.”
Wurst also sees the event as a way to develop relationships and networks. According to Wurst, student-success events like the Transfer Fair are most beneficial when they are highly collaborative. She stressed how vital it was for everyone to be included.
In addition to staff and administration participation, Connection Center staff worked to involve as many instructors as possible, visiting classrooms directly to promote the event to students and instructors alike.
“My goal was to bring connection to life,” Wurst said, “by providing incentive for faculty and students to connect and essentially build a relationship around how the Transfer Fair could help achieve student academic and career goals at Dodge City Community College.”
A dozen instructors brought their classes through the Transfer Fair or offered extra credit work for learning about their transfer options.
“Those were purposeful outcomes that I aimed for this year,” Wurst said. “I really stress the relational component in any initiatives that involve student success. We want to spark conversations that may not happen otherwise.”
Connor Harris, a sophomore business major at DC3, appreciated the conversations and the chance to speak directly.
“This was a great opportunity to figure out exactly how I want to move my education forward,” he said. “I really like being taught face-to-face and get all the details. I know what I’m looking for, and now I know just exactly what’s available.”
Ian Marcos, an admissions counselor for Washburn University who works specifically with transfer students, said having so many colleges in a concentrated space is smart for the students and smart for the schools themselves. With so many schools represented, Marcos said the Transfer Fair is a great way to show students all the options, big and small.
“This kind of thing is pretty unique and really exciting for all of us,” Marcos said. “It’s difficult to reach certain populations, especially in this part of the state, so to be able to come out here and make ourselves accessible is really smart and a fantastic opportunity for your students.”
The Title V staff designed the students’ Transfer Fair packets to facilitate involvement and guide inquiry.
“That really gave students the opportunity to ask questions that are important to them,” Marcos said. “It allows for a lot of varied interactions. That’s so valuable for your students’ success.”
That success is the ultimate goal of the Transfer Fair.
“Our mission is putting students first,” Wurst said. “Having more events like this will ensure students that their success is our primary interest, and reflects our institutional mission.”
By Scott Edger