Seawolf Transfer Trail: Many paths to one destination

by Joe Selmont  |   

A UAA student makes their own path through the snow outside Rasmuson Hall.
A UAA student made their own path through the snow outside Rasmuson Hall. (Photo by James Evans / UAA)

UAA has recently launched a new tool, the Seawolf Transfer Trail, to provide a sturdy foundation for potential transfer students and to set them on the most ideal path toward graduation.

When it comes to the students who choose to transfer to UAA, there is no one-size-fits-all. Some potential transfer students are 19 or maybe 20-year-old Alaskans who have spent a year or two at an out-of-state university, and now they realize it’s time to return to their roots. Others have just been stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson — or are the spouse or dependent of a recently relocated service member — and maybe UAA is their third or fourth university since freshman year. And then there are working professionals, who might already have earned college credits or attained a degree, and now they’re yearning for a career change.

According to Lora Volden, UAA’s interim vice chancellor for student affairs, “The kinds of students who transfer are just so varied, which makes it difficult to provide all the information and advice they might need through a static tool like a standard webpage. The Seawolf Transfer Trail, on the other hand, is an interactive tool that personalizes the earliest stages of the transfer process.”

UAA staff help to clear a path through the snow in the Cuddy Quad.
UAA staff help to clear a path through the snow in Cuddy Quad. (Photo by James Evans / UAA)

How the Seawolf Transfer Trail works is pretty straightforward. First, potential transfer students select up to three UAA majors that catch their interest. Next, they input the courses that they completed at their previous universities. And then the Seawolf Transfer Trail displays not only the progress toward those three majors, but also progress toward other majors that could be a good fit. It’s as simple as that.

Potential transfer students can use the tool anonymously or they can create a profile, which allows them to save their search history and to request guidance if any of their completed courses have not been reviewed by UAA’s transfer evaluation team. Importantly, it is also possible for UAA’s advisors to reach out to students who create a profile. This kind of one-on-one support is a big factor in whether students ultimately decide to transfer to UAA.

“What we know is that, historically, potential transfer students are hesitant to reach out to us during the initial phase of their research,” said Volden. “They want to know how many of their credits will transfer and how long it will take them to graduate, and if they don’t feel like UAA is the ‘best deal,’ then we might never have the chance to explain what UAA can offer — in terms of the educational experience, in terms of scholarships and financial aid and in terms of a more accurate estimate of the time it will take them to graduate.”

Potential transfer students are always looking for the most effective way to map out their future. And the Seawolf Transfer Trail is a powerful tool that will set many Seawolves on the path toward graduation.

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