Students from all over the country have the desire to attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's). A number of the students who are admitted into these institutions identify as transfer students.
At Clark Atlanta University (CAU), there are no specific services available that offer support to transfer students on campus. The services that are available to transfer students are the same services that are available to an incoming freshman. However, the needs of an incoming freshman differ from the needs of a transfer student. Education Program Specialist, Michelle Rhodes, who serves as a program specialist at CAU stated, "There aren't any departments specifically for transfer students here on campus. However, incoming transfer students are encouraged to keep constant communication with someone in the transfer student services located at the Office of Student Recruitment and Admissions." Rhodes said.
The lack of up to date information that is shared between other colleges and HBCU's is an issue that prospective transfer students deal with. Many times students don't know what their major department requires them because that information is not shared until they get here. Kandis Thorpe, a junior sociology major, entered CAU in the Fall of 2017 with the assumption that she was a junior based off of the number of credits she entered with. "When I first came here, I had a lot of friends who were in the class of 2019. I thought I was in the class of 2019 but, I found out I was a sophomore based off of the credits they accepted." Thorpe said. Thorpe reflects on how all of her credits were not accepted from her credit evaluations that were done by the Office of Student Recruitments and Admissions. "As transfer students, we get overlooked and that's a problem," Thorpe said.
Many transfer students come in with degrees that they've obtained from colleges that they've attended previously. Often times, transfer students attend their local community college to get their Associates degree and transfer to finish the rest of their education to receive their Bachelor's degree. Angelo Hopson is a junior Business Supply Chain Management major at CAU. Hopson transferred to CAU in the Fall of 2018 as a California community college student.
"I got my Associates degree in Graphic Design. I came in with so many credits. Technically, I was a senior but, all of my credits weren't accepted after I declared my major." Hopson said. Hopson chose to attend an HBCU after attending a black college tour. On this tour, he learned that as a community college student who attended college in California he could benefit from the HBCU transfer agreement. The California Community Colleges and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) transfer program is an agreement between HBCU's and California Community Colleges that guarantees a smooth transition for students who apply through this partnership. Clark Atlanta University is a school that is in partnership with this program.
"As a transfer student, you have to deal with fighting your institution because they are not trying to take your credits, they may have you scheduled to graduate later...it's just so much you have to deal with." said Asha Abdul Mujeeb, a Junior Public Relations Major with a minor in Afro American Studies at North Carolina A&T University. "These students who enter in as freshman don't go through the same things that a transfer student goes through," said Mujeeb as she reflects on her journey transferring into North Carolina A&T University. "When I was depressed, I didn't have a creative outlet to express myself" Mujeeb expressed how she experienced depression during her first semester as a transfer student. Mujeeb reflects on how her experiences propelled her to create a platform that highlights the beauty of the HBCU experience.
"If the faculty would just be a bit nicer that would make such a difference...because when you are a student between the ages of 18-22 and you're trying to make something happen for yourself, dealing with inconsiderate people discourages you and it makes the transferring process that much harder." said Mujeeb as she reflects on the treatment she experienced from faculty and staff.
"I wanted to attend an HBCU over a PWI because I knew I wouldn't have to explain myself here. I could just be myself." said Mujeeb." Having this love and joy for the HBCU experience is what led me to create Everyday Aggies" @EverydayAggies is an Instagram blog that focuses on authentically sharing the perspectives of the HBCU experience. "Having faith that I was suppose to be here was one thing but, surviving the transfer process has been so rewarding" said Mujeeb.