College welcomes 30 spring transfer students


Max Van Wie

Sara Kinerson

This semester Johnson State College is welcoming 30 transfer students from across the Vermont and out of state.

“We certainly have worked hard on the support end to improve what kinds of support and services we offer for transfer students,” said Sara Kinerson, director of the advising and career center.

Bianca Caputo is a freshman who transferred to Johnson from Champlain College this semester. She transferred due to the size of Burlington and Champlain not working out well for her, and Johnson seemed to fit better. About the process of transferring Caputo said that it was an easy process despite the timing of her transferring.

“It was the easiest thing,” Caputo said. “I got stressed at first, just because it was winter break and financial aid things I had to take care of, but other than that it was really simple.” Caputo said that people were helpful and met with her to set up her schedule.

Kinerson said that when prospective students are accepted, admissions will now start sending out guides that describe all the necessary steps that transfer students need to take in terms of credits and other aspects.

“They should be prepared to be hands on in the process of reviewing their transcript,” Kinerson said. “When they arrive we’re here to help them, but they need to be ready to do that.”

Kinerson said she encourages all transfer students to call and talk about how their credits will transfer over, which she is more than happy to do. “Our overarching message is that we want students to graduate in a timely manner so upon entry we would want to work with them to figure out what we need to fix up if something didn’t get applied where it should.”

Jamie Jenot, a freshman transfer student from the Community College of Vermont, said that what Johnson should do is work more with community colleges to allow students to know what particular classes they should take if they intend to transfer to Johnson.

Kinerson said that how students feel about how their credits have been applied varies depending on the student. She said that when handling transfer students the advising and career center tries to make a personal connection with every single student in order to point them in the right direction.

When students transfer in, one of the challenges that students face is determining which classes count for which credit. This is due in part to colleges teaching relatively the same things but having different styles or names that makes it difficult for them to transfer over. “We would love to get to a model where we could help them with that earlier,” Kinerson said, “so that this piece wasn’t so much a part of their experience here.”

One of the selling points for Johnson so far is that it is excellent in helping students transfer over. Nicole Menard, a freshman transfer student from Plymouth State in New Hampshire talked about just how easy it was being able to talk to people at JSC when transferring. “The people that I’ve had to talk to get credit have been so helpful and friendly,” Menard said, “whereas before at the other school they weren’t as accommodating, but the people here have made it really easy and have answered all my questions.”

Kinnerson said that what really works well at Johnson is communication between offices on the students coming in so they know who the students are and what they need. She also said the school does an excellent job welcoming students through winter welcome, an event that takes place before the second semester which gives incoming students important information on deadlines and other events, in making sure that students are able to easily get acclimated to the school.

Matthew Miller, a freshman transfer student from Fisher College in Boston, said that part of the reason he transferred was that he fell in love with the school and surrounding mountains. What Miller points out, however, is that to attract more students the price needs to decrease. “They need to get athletic scholarships, that’s the biggest thing,” Miller said. “If they can get athletic scholarships, I can even get a lot of my friends from South Florida down here, but the cost out of state is the biggest thing.”