Celebrating National Transfer Student Week

October 16, 2023

Dear campus community,

We are excited to join you in celebrating the incredible contributions of transfer students during National Transfer Student Week, an annual event dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the unique experiences, achievements, and challenges faced by transfer students.

Our commitment to transfer students is deeply ingrained in our mission to provide an inclusive and diverse educational environment. This year's theme, "Full Steam Ahead!" embodies our dedication to ensuring that transfer students have a smooth and unhindered journey from contemplating their transfer to achieving their educational goals.

Did you know that transfer students make up about 21% of our undergraduate population at UC Berkeley? Transfer students are not only integral to our community; they bring with them distinctive features and experiences that enrich the fabric of our campus in countless ways: 

  • First-Generation Trailblazers: Incoming transfer students are twice as likely to be the first in their family to earn a college degree, with 44% proudly breaking new ground, compared to 22% of new freshmen.

  • Independence and Resilience: Transfer students often embody independence, with many managing their educational pursuits without family financial support. 

  • Diverse Paths and Backgrounds: Our transfer students encompass military veterans, parents, and re-entry students, each bringing their unique life experiences and perspectives. They represent the diverse tapestry of life journeys that converge at UC Berkeley, enhancing the depth and breadth of our intellectual discourse.

  • Champions of Diversity: Transfer students are more likely to be members of historically underrepresented groups in higher education, accounting for 27% of our transfer population compared to 18% of students who entered as freshmen. This demonstrates their role as champions of diversity and inclusion, actively contributing to the diversification of our academic community.

In the fall of 2024, we are excited to open Anchor House, a beautiful residential facility with over 750 beds dedicated to transfer students. This new space will provide even more opportunities for transfer students to connect and thrive.

Throughout this week, we have a variety of events and resources available to both current and prospective transfer students including Demystifying Office Hours (Oct. 17), Travel Like a Transfer (Oct. 18), and National Transfer Celebration (Oct. 19). Please take a moment to explore the robust list of events and resources on our NTSW website.

During this week, we invite you to explore several essential programs that support our transfer students and contribute to their success: Transfer Student CenterRe-entry Student ProgramStudent Parent CenterCal Veteran Services Center, and Starting Point Mentorship Program. I also invite you to read the inspiring stories of some of our exceptional transfer students who have made a significant impact on our campus community including Ashley Tigue, Allexys Cornejo Lopez, Sarah Orozco, and others. Their journeys and accomplishments remind us of the incredible potential that transfer students bring to our institution. It's important to note that these features are just a subset of the many remarkable programs and individuals that shine on our campus.

As we celebrate National Transfer Student Week, let us reaffirm our commitment to supporting and empowering transfer students on their educational journeys. Together, we can ensure that they continue to thrive and contribute to the rich tapestry of UC Berkeley.

Thank you to all the dedicated professionals, faculty, and staff who support our transfer students. Your guidance and mentorship are invaluable. Let's make this week a memorable celebration of our transfer community. Go Bears!

Watch Chancellor Christ's Video Message Celebrating Transfer Students

This CalMessage was written in partnership and consultation with Adam Hillier, Yvette Flores, Lucy Molina, and Amanda Dillon. We thank them for their contributions to this message and to the greater community! 

In community,

Dania Matos
Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion

Stephen C. Sutton
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Lorena Valdez 
Director, Transfer Student Programs 
Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence 

Oliver O’Reilly
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education 

Victoria Plaut
Vice Provost for the Faculty

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