I was at a social gathering this weekend talking with some recent graduates about where they went to college, how they enjoyed it, and what it is they are doing now. One of them gave a story about an experience she had in her freshman year that will forever be ingrained in her mind.

“It was her freshman year and her parents held her at a very high standard, not to mention, she had to get good grades to keep her scholarship. So, of course, what did she do? Start falling behind! The world came crashing down on top of her and life as she knew, was over with. She thought she was going to have to move back home with mom/dad and apply for a job at JC Penney.”

Then it hit her that maybe she should drop the class or perhaps she could come back from this failure and still have a chance to pass. She needed some help and expertise. She asked her professor, but he suggested she talk to her adviser.

So she called the advisory department to ask them. It took 15 minutes of sitting on the phone texting a robot just to hear someone’s voice, but then she was informed that she needed to make an appointment, because they were fully booked for the next week because of add/drop period.

Being the stubborn go-getter she is, she said, “forget that, I’m just going to go into the office and wait until someone sees me”. Someone was bound to cancel or not show up. She signed her name at the bottom of the never-ending list and took a seat on the floor and thought to herself, “If only I would have studied harder.”

As the hours passed, all she could think about was how she was going to pass her other courses now that she had missed a complete day of classes waiting to meet with an adviser.

When she finally got in, the adviser acted as if she was a part of an assembly line. Name, SS number, DOB, course, professor and what’s the problem? She explained her situation. The adviser sighed as if to say “here we go again, another the whole world is coming to an end situation.”

In a monotone voice, the adviser said, “so you would like to drop the course?” She answered, “I don’t know, what do you think, what should I do, what are my options, am I going to lose my scholarship?” The adviser sighed again and said, “well did you talk to your professor?” “Of course, he was the one that told me to meet with you.” She left with no meaningful input and a feeling that she was on her own. She thought, “Am I going to have to deal with this for four more years?” She transferred at the end of the semester and graduated with honors from her new institution.

What is your institution’s transfer rate?