Spring 2013 Stories
Settling in as a Transfer Student
By Hayden Courtney
When Jennifer Lamont transferred to Evergreen’s Evening and Weekend Studies, she never would have guessed how it was going to turn out. “Finishing my education was a personal goal,” says Lamont, who balances a full-time job, academic work, an expanding family as she anticipates the arrival of her new baby, and a commute from Elma with a job with Loss Prevention and Compliance at the Washington State Employees Credit Union. “In the programs I have taken, I have met so many people succeeding in managing both school and work.”
Susan Preciso, faculty member in literature who has taught Evening and Weekend studies for nearly 20 years, has worked with Lamont and agrees about her progress. “Jen is a great example of a typical adult transfer student who is also active in the workforce. These students bring an ability to organize and focus, along with a sense of intellectual adventure. Adult students are making a big sacrifice, and their working experience carries over.”
Preciso has also seen how transfer students, many of whom are working adults, integrate with more traditional college-age students. “More and more, younger students are taking part in Evening and Weekend Studies. I’ve seen rich work, and geniune friendship, happen between a 19-year-old freshman and a 40-something state worker. Transfer students bring different perspectives. I have also seen adult students who have been away from school for years undertake a major change in confidence over the course of a quarter. It occurs to them that they can do this. Down to their body language and posture, it becomes obvious that they are truly engaged with the opportunity to be part of a bigger conversation.”
Admissions counselor Jerad Sorber, who specializes in bringing transfer students into the Evergreen fold, elaborates on this dynamic.
“Adult students find that coming back to school is a good way to take inventory of their own skills, knowledge and expertise. Evergreen has many ways to make this possible. For many adult students, time is just as important as money. With our options for transfers, finishing your education not only becomes less expensive per credit, but more credits are able to carry over.”
Evergreen’s generous transfer options focus on taking one’s previous experience, be it from a community or four-year college, as an active duty military personnel or veteran, and even those who have done their work outside of the parameters of formal education, and applying it to earning a diploma.
“If you can demonstrate you’ve grasped the knowledge, be it with a small business, in agriculture, wildlife, social work, or in the visual arts, Evergreen has a method of acknowledging that accomplishment and allowing students to count that experience as part of their path to a degree,” Sorber explains.
For Lamont, the exchange between a career and continuing education works both ways. “Juggling school and work has taught me important skills in time management, prioritization and organization. My supervisors know what I am doing and really take notice. My biggest pay increases have occured since I began my studies at Evergreen.”
Building on an emphasis in business that she earned at South Puget Sound Community College, Lamont discovered history by studying under Preciso in The Age of Irony program, and is considering a Master of Teaching degree from Evergreen in order to teach. “I uncovered a passion. I’ve enjoyed studying history more than I could have ever imagined.”