When transferring to a new school, students are often faced with the issue of having to become involved in an unfamiliar community. At Baruch College, transfer students who come from residential colleges may notice that the difference is huge at a commuter school. Becoming involved and making friends is not as easy as one would like and learning about Baruch’s student resources can also be a challenge all on its own.
New students that start at Baruch as freshmen have a major advantage that transfer students do not. Freshmen Seminar — a mandatory requirement for all first-year students — is an extremely useful resource. Freshmen are required to complete three blogposts after attending three different Baruch events. Students automatically become more involved with Baruch culture by being required to attend these events as they allow students to experience things they would not have looked out for otherwise. Often, at the beginning of the semester, these freshmen attend general interest meetings, which opens up possibilities to become members of clubs or organizations and to find a sense of belonging on an otherwise cold campus.
There are multiple lessons in Freshmen Seminar that focus on teaching students about Baruch and other technical aspects that do not come intuitively by just attending the school. There is a whole presentation dedicated to speaking with an advisor and learning about the curriculum that students have to complete in order to pursue their major. CUNYFirst and Blackboard are also not easy websites to navigate. Even students who attend Freshmen Seminar have trouble navigating the online services.
Transfer students, especially those who may not have any experience within the CUNY system, will be even more lost.
Transfer students may not have a Freshmen Seminar, but they do have a Transfer Seminar. The issue with the Transfer Seminar is that it is not mandatory to take. When given the choice, students would rather try and figure things out on their own than opt to attend an optional class once a week. Trying to figure things out on their own may lead them to not fully understand all of the tools that they have at their disposal as Baruch students.
By making the seminar mandatory, transfer students would be required to learn the technicalities of Baruch, helping them flourish in the long run. It may seem tedious and unnecessary, but knowing the basics and learning how the school functions can save them time from taking unnecessary classes or not even registering for classes at all because they could not figure out how to do so.