Exploring Transfer

The Vassar College Exploring Transfer Program
For twenty-seven years the Exploring Transfer (ET) program at Vassar College has successfully introduced community college students to the possibilities of transfer to a wide range of four-year colleges and universities. ET students, all of whom are drawn from populations underrepresented in higher education and all of whom are first generation to college, have gone on to complete bachelor's degrees at most of the units of the State University of New York and the City University of New York; ET have also transferred and flourished at private selective universities such as Yale and Columbia and colleges such as Smith, Middlebury and, of course, Vassar.

We believe that of the 950 students who have participated in Exploring Transfer over the last fifteen years, over 80% have transferred to four-year institutions, 99 to Vassar College. At least eight ET participants have gone on to Ph.D. programs, one is a practicing physician and many are lawyers and public school teachers.

Exploring Transfer is designed to provide an introduction to the intensive study of the liberal arts to community college students who are pursuing associate degrees or certificates in vocational, liberal arts and science programs. Indeed, most of our students come to the program with the kinds of vocational goals encouraged by community college admissions; it is our purpose to show them that there is a world of other possibilities available to them.

Each summer Exploring Transfer offers three specially designed courses, each taught by a Vassar and a community college professor. Each of these courses, which are usually interdisciplinary in focus, carry one unit of Vassar credit and match the expectations for 100-level courses during the regular year. Students live in one of the residence halls where they are encouraged by program counselors to form a learning cohort to promote intellectual sharing and to provide mutual academic and personal support.

Each student receives a scholarship that completely covers tuition, room, board, books, and all other supplies. The Program is staffed by six faculty, three peer counselors, and one administrator.

One of the three courses will enable students to focus on scientific inquiry in two field/laboratory intensive courses. Working in small groups, students will engage in the design, execution, and analysis of scientific experiments and field studies. The goal is for students to have a clear understanding of the processes involved in doing science. Students will have access and exposure to the full suite of instrumentation, computing facilities, laboratories, and library at Vassar.

In addition to learning experimental methods and principles of experimental design, considerable emphasis will be placed on the analytical and quantitative skills needed to interpret and understand the limitations of experimental data. Students will receive training in the use of the scientific literature and will be expected to write papers and give oral presentations on their work.

The 2014 program will run from Friday, June 20 through Friday, July 25.

Please submit the application and all required materials to Dr. Joe Allen in H408M no later than Tuesday, March 18.