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Taylor Panczer, program coordinator for campus activities center, talks to incoming student Mason Ingle at the Transfer Student Pitt CARES orientationin the Overman Student Center on Monday, April 15. The students were able to enroll in classes, meet their advisor, and learn more about campus resources at the event. Gracelyn Haile

PSU prepares transfer students for future semesters

Pitt State welcomed future students with an orientation geared towards helping them prepare for their upcoming semesters as transfer students.  

The Transfer Pitt State CARES was held from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Monday, April 15 and Tuesday, April 16. The program began in the morning in the ballrooms of the Overman Student Center then throughout the day, groups had the opportunity to explore the campus. 

“Pitt CARES is an opportunity for new students who are planning to come to Pittsburg State… to learn about things they need to do between now and the start of classes to be successful and have a successful start to their semester,” said Heather Eckstein, director of student success programs. “They also get enrolled. They meet students, so there are C.A.R.E. leaders who help them through this day and then they also meet with an advisor in their academic program, so they can get enrolled and learn about how we can help them meet their career goals.” 

In the morning, the day began with two sessions, one for students and another for parents as many students bring family members for the program as they “welcome families to come”. 

“In the student program, that’s when they’re interacting with the C.A.R.E. leaders and talking about student things,” Eckstein said. “Things that students need to know to be prepared. In the parent session, they learn about what resources are available to their students and they’re provided their parent-family guide, so if a student calls and says ‘Mom…’ they can answer them and say ‘Hey, I looked at my guide and this office is open…’ whenever.” 

Eckstein says that an important aspect of the program is preparing parents as well as students for the transition to Pitt State. 

 “We try to provide resources for the family, they’re going to support them no matter what, but this can help them support (students) with more information and the right place to go, or what something is referring to when they may not be familiar with,” Eckstein said. 

After the student and parent information sessions, there are four additional rotation sessions about services available to students on campus. 

They are Student Health Services, the Campus Activities Center, Career Services/Student Employment, and Student Financial Assistance,” Eckstein said. “… just to learn about what is available for their students relative to that. We really try to make that focus be what do you need to do between now and August. 

Tanner Glenn, junior in communication, will be transferring to PSU from Coffeyville Community College (CCC) in the fall. Glenn said he chose to transfer to Pitt State because it is “close to home, it’s affordable, and it has a good communication program”. 

Glenn felt that the program was helpful as he was able to get enrolled, meet his advisor, and get his student ID. Additionally, he was able to “get a better feel for the campus”. 

I didn’t hardly know anything before (about PSU), and now I’ve got a better idea of where’s stuff at and how it’s going to be in the fall,” Glenn said. “(I enjoyed) getting a better feel of the campus. It’ll be something new and it will get me outside of the Montgomery County area and it will give me something new to try out.” 

According to Eckstein, one of the main goals aside from getting students enrolled is for students to know about the caring nature of Pitt State. 

“…We also want them to know that Pittsburg State is a family and that we provide a network of people that are going to support them in their success,” Eckstein said. 

Chelsi Curtis, sophomore in psychology, will transfer from College of the Ozarks and came having heard about a positive campus environment. 

“I’ve been told the environment is better than most colleges I’ve checked out and I had a couple different people reference me back to here,” Curtis said. 

Curtis felt like she accomplished a lot while on campus. 

“We did a few seminars, (that were) very helpful,” she said. “Listened about health services and different careers we could do here, we had lunch here on campus which was awesome, they’re quite a variety. We did enrollment and… ringing the bell. I’ve learned lots… I learned they had bikes here to rent… I’ve learned all the advisors are super cool.” 

Curtis felt that the program was helpful as whole, but that meeting her advisor was “the most beneficial out of everything. 

“It really made everything concrete and it (has) kind of mapped out what I’m going to be doing for the next few years,” she said. “I had a lot of anxiety. I’ve had previous issues with different colleges and this whole Pitt C.A.R.E.S. thing has put a lot of my anxiety at ease. I’m excited about the ability learn in an environment like this where everyone is geared towards my success, and that’s pretty powerful.” 

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