Senior Academic Advisor and O’Neill Transfer Coordinator Brett Reardon and his advising colleagues in O’Neill’s Undergraduate Programs Office have spent the past several years creating policies and educational opportunities to help transfer students make a seamless transition into the O’Neill community. For their efforts, they were recently honored with an Outstanding Advising Program Certificate of Merit Award by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA).
“The O’Neill School is a special place, and [Reardon] and the advising team do an incredible job helping students make the most of their time here,” said R.J. Woodring, Associate Dean for Educational Programs. “We offer many resources and programs that can help students thrive, and [Reardon] has demonstrated a unique ability to help students navigate those opportunities – whether they spend four years or just four semesters with us.”
Five years ago, O’Neill’s undergraduate academic advising team adjusted their admissions process to smooth the transition for transfer students. Focusing on the comprehensive transfer experience as well as each student’s specific needs, they set goals to improve their outreach efforts, offer qualified students direct admission, and help students get earlier access to academic advising. They also focused on helping transfers connect to special opportunities within the school, including student groups, internships, and study abroad programs.
From 2017 to 2021, the school saw an increase of 135% in the number of transfer students admitted. O’Neill also experienced an increase in transfer student retention – suggesting that the team’s transfer-focused approach has been beneficial for both students and the school.