Pacific transfer students get head start

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Transfer students from Hawaii community colleges have been given a new opportunity that brings them one step closer to completing Pacific’s core requirements after a new proposal was approved by the College of Arts and Sciences on Aug. 30. According to Mark Ankeny, who serves as both Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs and Dean of Education, the majority of the requirements will be met by these students if they have received an Associate Arts in Liberal Studies degree at a Hawaii community college prior to transferring to Pacific.

Ankeny said that not every student stays all four years at a university and that because many students end up going the community college route, having a transfer agreement like this makes the bridge smoother for people when they decide to come here.

“Pacific has a long-time history in recruiting students from Hawaii and the majority came from high school,” said Ankeny. One thing he said he discovered while he visited Hawaii community colleges in July was that 30 percent of students who leave the main island of Hawaii end up going to West Coast schools. “One of the goals of the university is to increase its ability to attract and attain transfer students.”

Pacific University already has a partnership agreement with all Oregon and Washington community colleges that allows transfer students to have the majority of their core graduation requirements met if they completed an Associates of Art Oregon Transfer degree or a Direct Transfers Associates degree from Washington, according to Advising Center Director Gretchen Potter.

What a transfer degree does not cover is Pacific Cornerstones: Civic Engagement, international and diverse perspective, Future Focus and Research and Creative Achievement. The foreign language and writing requirement, as well as 40 hours of upper division courses will also still be required.

Pacific has recourses such as renewable academic merit scholarships, the Office of Transfer Student Services, pre-transfer advising from the Academic Advising Center and the Connections organization for transfer students.  These resources provide tools and support, make transferring accessible and affordable and facilitate a smooth transition.

Pacific University has also recently made the amount for academic scholarships of transfer students equal to that of incoming freshmen.  Potter said this is not common in Oregon and Washington, and it shows Pacific’s commitment to its transfer students.  Potter also added that transfer students provide different perspectives with their presence at Pacific.

Requirements Pacific looks for in transfer students are a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.70 at the college level, with a preference for a 2.90 or higher, transcripts from all colleges attended, one letter of recommendation from an adviser or faculty member and completion of the common application with an essay.  Students only need to provide a copy of their high school transcript and ACT and SAT test scores if they have fewer than 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours.


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