“It feels like I’m wanted”: students reflect on transferring to Simpson

“It feels like I’m wanted”: students reflect on transferring to Simpson

by Liv Allen, ID Magazine Editor-In-Chief

Simpson College welcomed 46 transfer students to campus this fall.

From students continuing their years of athletic eligibility post-junior college to some just needing a change of pace, students reflected on their transfer experience.

For junior Andrew Russell, his draw to Simpson was a mix of athletics and a geographic change of pace. The Cedar Rapids local transferred from Coe College this year.

“I decided to come to Simpson because I wanted to be more in the Des Moines area over Cedar Rapids. So it was nice to kind of get out there and try something else,” Russell said. “Sports [soccer] also played a big part in my decision.”

For sophomore Alli Casper, her interest in Simpson sparked during her senior year of high school in 2019, but she decided to enroll at DMACC to get her Associate’s Degree first.

Casper is originally from Pleasant Hill, a short 22-minute drive from Indianola. She shared that she had several friends, family members and former teachers who graduated from Simpson, which also influenced her decision.

While reflecting on her initial visits to campus, Casper said the campus community sealed the deal.

“I loved the campus; it’s a beautiful campus. I met with some faculty members, and they were super welcoming and really wanted me to get the full experience that I could just in that short amount of time,” Casper said. “I just got that warm feeling like everyone wants to know each other, which I found really cool. At DMACC, everyone’s just there to get done with school. Here, people are trying to form friendships and community.”

Russell seconds that notion.

“I visited the campus and it’s a lot nicer than Coe’s. I wanted to be at a campus with more of a college feel, not really like a city feel like Coe was,” Russell said. “The transition has been really good. Everyone’s been super friendly.”

Sophomore Tajen Ross transferred from Mount Marty in Yankton, S.D. for basketball. Since the school year started, he’s decided it’s the perfect fit for him.

“It’s a great culture and I knew it would be the best location for me to accomplish what I want to accomplish,” Ross said. “A lot of people are very welcoming here and it feels like I’m wanted at Simpson.”

Dawn Barnes, Director of Transfer Enrollment, said a key element of the admissions department’s approach towards transfer students is creating an individualized experience.

“Transfer students are a different population, as they are in many different phases of life,” Barnes said. “Some are recent high school graduates who have previously attended a junior college or a different 4-year college and are looking to finish their degrees at Simpson, while others are adult students who have come back to finish a degree. It’s important to meet the needs of each to the best of our ability.”

Barnes is grateful for the help of her team in fostering a welcoming community for transfer students beginning their Simpson journey.

“I am fortunate to work closely with a number of faculty and staff who are trained to work with transfer students,” Barnes said. “From setting up personal registration appointments, creating individual transcripts evaluations and meeting with students one-on-one to register for classes and map out their journey, it takes a team.”

Casper shared that Barnes and other faculty members helped make her transition easier.

“I actually have had a really pretty easy transition. I was very fortunate with the faculty I got as professors there, making sure I’m okay,” Casper said. “Of course, it’s been hard. It’s definitely a lot different here than it was at DMACC just speed-wise. But I haven’t had a whole lot of issues with not getting questions answered. If I had a question about transferring credits they answered me really quickly.”

Anyone interested in transferring to Simpson can check out the ‘Transfer Students’ tab on Simpson’s website, or reach out to Barnes at [email protected].