Nearly half of all Hesston College students transfer to other colleges within the first year after they complete their studies at Hesston. An additional 20 percent do so within five years. There is a good chance that you will be one of those students. You can both take advantage of the unique learning opportunities at Hesston College and make a smooth transition to another college.
First, a word of admonition. As important as transferability is, don’t let that concern dictate everything you do. Hesston offers a number of unique and valuable experiences that may not be available to you elsewhere or that may not be recognized as transferable credit. With careful planning, you can take advantage of these opportunities and still transfer with a minimum of trouble.
Hesston College has transfer articulation agreements with Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies (Wichita, Kan.), Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.), Bluffton (Ohio) University, Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Va.), Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Friends University College of Adult and Professional Studies (Wichita, Kan.), Goshen (Ind.) College, Kansas State University Salina, Kansas Wesleyan University (Salina, Kan.), Messiah College (Grantham, Pa.), Newman University (Wichita, Kan.), Sterling (Kan.) College, Tabor College (Hillsboro, Kan.) and the University of Kansas School of Nursing (Lawrence). See the Hesston College Catalog for details.
What can I do to prepare myself for a smooth transfer?
- Become a desirable transfer prospect. Take a challenging curriculum, do well, finish what you begin, participate in extracurricular activities and conduct your personal life in a way that will generate positive references. To be admitted to most transfer schools, you will need good references and at least a 2.00 GPA. For some programs, the entrance requirement will be even higher, like 2.50 or 2.75. Grades of D usually will not transfer. Be ready.
- Assemble credentials. Start a file in which you place the Hesston College catalog, the syllabus from each course you take, examples of your best work and other items that will document and highlight your experience and ability. The official record of your academic work is kept in the Registrar’s Office. You may request a copy of that record at any time.
- Chart a direction. Most baccalaureate schools will require that you declare a major early in your junior year. Use your years at Hesston to prepare for that moment. Take a broad range of courses. Test your interest in specific careers with exploratory work experiences.
- Build Relationships. Get to know your Hesston College advisor and your professors. They will be valuable advocates for you later.
- Work toward independence. Read for yourself the academic policies and graduation requirements described in the Hesston College catalog and study the course offerings lists. Acquaint yourself with the requirements of four-year degrees. Learn how to function in the world of higher education. Practice making independent decisions with coaching from your academic advisor.
What courses should I take to transfer smoothly?
To earn a baccalaureate degree, you will need to satisfy certain general education requirements regardless of where you go or what your field of interest is. The best approach is to follow the plan of study for the A.A. degree at Hesston. If you earn this degree, you will meet the general education transfer expectations of most schools.
If you know where you will transfer and what your major will be, take courses at Hesston that are similar to those taken in the first two years by students at the transfer school. This may mean following the A.S. or A.G.S. degree outline. Be cautious about taking courses at Hesston that may be upper level at the transfer school.
If you don’t know where you will transfer or what your major will be, add one more course to the A.A. requirements from each of the areas of written communication, history, social science and humanities, plus introductory level courses in several other fields that are of most interest to you.
If you will seek a bachelor of arts degree at the transfer school, add from two to four semesters of one foreign language to the list above. If you will seek the bachelor of science, add more courses from the natural and quantitative sciences.
When and how should I connect with transfer schools?
- During your first year at Hesston: Gather catalogs, transfer guides, applications and financial aid information from schools to which you might transfer. Discuss the options with your advisor. One good way to learn about schools that offer your particular major is to search the Internet. College Source Online (www.collegesource.org) gives you access to the catalogs of several thousand colleges and universities.
- Early in your second year at Hesston: Make connections with someone at the transfer school who can be your advocate. That person may be an admissions counselor, a department chair, an advisor or an instructor. If possible, visit the school in person.
- Midway through your second year at Hesston: Apply to one or more schools that are of most interest to you. As a part of the process, you will be asked to provide academic transcripts, available from the Hesston College Registrar’s Office, and personal references. Plan ahead. Scholarship applications may be due as early as February 1. Ask the transfer school for written confirmation of how your Hesston College courses will be applied to the baccalaureate degree you wish to earn. Be prepared to provide course descriptions, syllabi and examples of your work if necessary. Watch for information about when and where you can register for your first term. Register as early as possible to get the courses you want and need.
What can I do if my courses don’t transfer?
Hesston is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the quality of courses here is widely recognized. There may, however, be courses you take at Hesston that will not fit a particular requirement at the transfer school. Sometimes the course may be accepted as an elective. But sometimes it simply won’t fit anywhere. That is why it is important to follow the guidelines provided earlier on course selection at Hesston. You should also recognize up front that public universities may not accept Bible and religion courses in transfer. At Hesston we feel that courses of this nature (like Biblical Literature) are so important that we want you to take them anyway. (And many public schools will accept them.)
In general, if there is a particular course that the transfer school does not accept, use whatever appeal process is available to you. The first review of your transcript is usually rather mechanical. When schools and/or departments are asked to take a second and more personal look at your record, they tend to be more accepting.
For additional support, contact the Hesston College registrar. Be ready to provide the name, position, work phone number, e-mail address and mailing address of the person with whom you are working at the transfer school.
What should I know about the requirements of four-year degrees?
To earn a baccalaureate degree, you will be required to complete somewhere between 124 and 132 hours in total. A few specific programs of study like architecture may require as many as 160 or more. Be aware that some baccalaureate programs take four and a half or five years to complete, even though they are described as four-year programs. Extra terms are also needed if you change majors late in the program.
Students who complete a four-year baccalaureate program of study earn the bachelor of arts or the bachelor of science degree. The bachelor of arts degree usually includes a foreign language requirement. The minimum acceptable grade point average (GPA) needed to earn a degree is always 2.00 or higher.
The course work required for the baccalaureate degree is distributed somewhat evenly into three categories: general education, the major field of study and electives.
General education is the set of courses and other experiences that a school requires of all of its students, regardless of a student’s field of interest. The requirement at public colleges and universities usually totals from 40 to 50 hours. Private church-related schools almost always have Bible and religion course requirements and some may include an international component as well. General education at private schools may approach 60 hours. Some institutions also require some upper level general education courses.
Included in most general education programs are courses designed to develop certain skills and courses designed to expose the student to a broad range of academic disciplines. The skill development portion typically includes one or two writing courses and one course each in speech, math and computer literacy. Occasionally these courses are replaced by—or supplemented by—proficiency exams. A physical wellness course is often included as well.
The remaining general education courses are prescribed somewhat equally from the humanities (literature, fine arts, history, communications, philosophy), the social sciences (economics, psychology, sociology, political science), and the natural and quantitative sciences (life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, computer science).
The major is a concentration of course work in a particular field such as engineering or social work or music. Requirements range from as few as 40 hours in some disciplines to more than 70 in others. Requirements often include supporting courses related to the major. For example, a math major may require supporting courses in the natural sciences.
Typically you will need to declare a major by the beginning of your junior year. You can begin taking lower level courses at Hesston that will count toward your major. But you will need to complete at least half of your major courses at the transfer school.
In addition to general education and the courses in your major field, there will be room in your program for up to 40 unspecified hours. These are known as electives. Some schools offer you the option of declaring a minor. A minor is a concentration of 15 to 24 elective hours in a field different than your major. For example, an English major might earn a minor in history.
For a baccalaureate degree, you will need to take a number of courses designed for juniors and seniors. These are referred to as upper level hours and are usually numbered 300 or above. Most schools will require at least 40 upper level hours. These must be completed at a four-year school. At least half of the hours required in your major field will be upper level.
You will need to meet a residency requirement by completing a certain number of credits at the school that will be granting your baccalaureate degree. The requirement is typically one full year (30 hours) or more, or some other criterion like 45 of your last 60 hours.