Advice for Transfer Students
Navigating a new campus and culture can be very challenging. We asked students, staff, and faculty to share advice they have for incoming and current Cal Poly transfers! Check out our Transfer Student Spotlights to learn more about current transfer students experience at Cal Poly.
Advice from Faculty and Staff that were Transfer Students
Dr. Franics Villablanca
Professor in Biological Sciences & Beacon Mentor
"Many of us had a very positive transfer experiences. Good experiences come from recognizing you are not alone. Faculty invite you to visit them in office hours and discuss currently available research opportunities. You can join BEACoN mentor network and we will facilitate that research connection."
Leadership & Program Coordinator, University Housing
"Transferring to Cal Poly felt very isolating to me, and on top of that, it was challenging and a little intimidating to rebuild my community and network at a new school. As tempting as it is to focus solely on classes, I encourage y'all to connect with classmates, staff, and faculty! New pals will help make it feel more like home. It takes time, but my biggest hope is that y'all are able to find the support you need while you're here. And don't forget to take care of yourself - there are so many awesome opportunities to explore while you're here, but it's okay to take a break when you need it!"
Cal Poly Scholars Academic Advisor, Mustang Success Center
"Welcome to the Mustang Family! As a former transfer student, I encourage you to make the best out of this experience. Meet new people, connect with professors, attend a Cal Poly sporting event, go bowl in the UU, hike to Architecture Graveyard, join a club...but most importantly, find a community! We will be here along the way to support you through your collegiate experience so don't hesitate to reach out. Enjoy your time here, YOU GOT THIS!"
Program Coordinator, TRIO Achievers
"I was a first-generation transfer student and would encourage students to reach out and connect with faculty and staff. While some transfer students formed deep connections at their previous schools, there are plenty of opportunities for students to connect here at Cal Poly. Don't forget, you belong here!"
Academic Advisor, Mustang Success Center
"College librarians are are awesome - they help students learn how to utilize library resources, help to guide research, and answer a TON of other questions. Tech rentals (in the library) are a life saver. They're free to borrow for students and usually available same day.
As a Cal Poly commuter student, it was really important for me to find study spots where I could spend those 2-3 hours (or more) in between my classes to study and do work, because driving 30 minutes home between classes wasn't really an option.
Talk to your professors. Tell them you're a transfer student. I encourage you to tell them you're working two jobs or that you've got family you're supporting, that you're commuting, that you only have access to one computer at home that you share with other people, that you have no idea what you're doing yet at Cal Poly because you just got here and already feel a little lost. Whatever. Tell your professors when you've fallen behind, when something happens that is affecting your academics. A lot of professors will work with you. I took an Incomplete in a course- which I felt like was an F. It wasn't-- it allowed me to take additional time to complete my coursework and get the grade I deserved. Along those same lines... understand grading at Cal Poly. It's different at every school."
Advice from Transfer Students
Strategies for Success
Hardest Time and Biggest Fear
Advice from Faculty and Staff
“Welcome Transfer students to Cal Poly! We are so happy you chose us and are committed to making your transition and experience here full of unlimited possibilities. I know it can be challenging to transition into a new environment when you feel like everyone has already formed their communities and peer groups. From my 25 years of experience on college campuses, I know that many students continue to find new groups and communities throughout their years in college. Clubs and organizations continue to add new members, and, in fact, sometimes new members have fresh ideas, leadership skills and become leaders in these groups quickly. My advice to you is to come in with an open mind, jump right in when you see opportunities to connect with others, and trust that you have a wealth of experience from your prior educational experiences and these hold value! Share your experiences with others so we can be a richer, more diverse community, and better with your contributions. Also, know that if you stumble, we are here for you – contact the dean of students office, your College Academic Advising Center, and the Transfer Center – we are just waiting for you to reach out to connect.”
“Hello Cal Poly Transfer Students! All of us at Career Services are excited that you are here and part of our university community. We hope that you will tap into our services early and as often as you'd like. Every student has a college-based career counselor to help you move your career plans forward. If you haven't already done so, one small step you can start working on now is creating or updating your branded materials and on-site presence such as your resume, cover letters, LinkedIn profile, and MustangJOBS profile and then begin networking to help you land an internship or full-time position. We can help you with this and so much more! Visit our website to see how to schedule a virtual appointment with a career counselor or utilize virtual drop-in. We hope to see you soon!”