Community College students increasingly enroll at Webster
BY TIFFANY WOODS
(St. Louis, Feb. 10, 2011) Second semester is just a continuation of the school year for most Webster University students, but for transfer students, school is just beginning.
Joan Finder, transfer coordinator in the office of admissions, said more than 100 students enrolled for the first time at Webster this semester after attending another school.
“We consider transfers a really important source of students at Webster,” Finder said.
Meramec, a St. Louis Community College campus located in Kirkwood, is a primary source of transfers for Webster because of its proximity. More students transfer to Webster from Meramec than any other community college, Finder said.
Many factors go into a student’s decision when selecting a school to transfer to, just as it does for students selecting a school as a freshmen.
“Degree programs, location and tuition all have something to do with it,” said Stephanie Stough, a current Meramec student who plans to transfer to Webster.
Kim Fitzgerald, the coordinator of enrollment management for Meramec, said the first thing most students will look at is price. She also said that when students are looking for programs, there are a few that particularly attract students to Webster.
“We have a lot of students who look at education and communications (as majors),” Fitzgerald said. “Webster offers some very unique programs for communications that you can’t just find anywhere. They also look at the music program. Webster is very good at making things affordable.”
Finder said when recruiting potential transfer students, visibility and reminding students what Webster has to offer is the biggest aim.
“If we have what they’re interested in, that’s going to be the lightbulb,” Finder said.
Another factor bringing community college students to Webster is the university’s deference to members of Phi Theta Cappa. Phi Theta Cappa is an international honors society solely for community college students. Webster gives one full tuition scholarship to an especially active member each year.
”We’ve been very active in working to recruit these (Phi Theta Cappa) students,” Finder said.
Because of the long tradition of students who attend Meramec and Webster, Fitzgerald and Finder both said there is a strong working relationship between the two campuses.
“It’s nice to be able to tell a student to go over to Webster and someone will talk to you,” Fitzgerald said. “Those personal relationships work out well for the students.”