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Katherine Stanford '19

Bridging Pathways for Transfer Students

Oct 20, 2023

Florida Southern College, nestled in the charming city of Lakeland, offers an idyllic campus and a supportive network of staff dedicated to guiding students on their path to a successful and meaningful career. Among these passionate individuals is Katherine Stanford, a Senior Admissions Counselor within the Office of Admission, whose role involves helping transfer students embark on their new educational adventures with confidence.

Katherine's Journey at FSC
Katherine's own journey at Florida Southern College is a testament to the opportunities that the College presents. Having been actively involved on campus through clubs and organizations and completing internships in the Lakeland area during her time as a student, Katherine's experiences were formative in guiding her career path. After graduating early in December 2019, she initially took on the role of Assistant Director of Annual Giving in the Office of Development, a position that emerged from her internship. However, it was only a short time before she realized her desire to work more closely with students. 

"I realized I wanted to work more directly with students and moved to the Office of Admissions. I've loved building relationships with students and their families," says Katherine.

Bridging the Gap
Katherine's own journey at Florida Southern significantly influences her work. Her unique perspective as a double major in business administration and communication and now an MBA candidate allows her to relate with prospective students. Through personal anecdotes and experiences, she paints a vivid picture of what students can expect when they choose to study at FSC.

Supporting Transfer Students
Transferring to a new college can be challenging, Katherine acknowledges. Transfer students often worry about forming new social connections, navigating a new campus, and adjusting to a different campus culture.

"Along with the environmental changes transfer students face, they also want to ensure they can graduate in that 4-year time frame," explains Katherine. "When students share these (or other) concerns, our team does its best to connect students to the wide range of resources and support services we have available for them.”

Katherine takes pride in the support systems in place to assist transfer students. The Office of Admissions plays a significant role throughout the application process, from the initial inquiry to orientation and move-in weekend. Additionally, campus partners such as the Registrar's Office, Student Accounts, the Financial Aid Office, and Student Solutions offer tailored guidance as students finalize their enrollment.

“From the time they apply to their graduation, FSC offers individualized support to all students.”

1200x800-KatherineStanford-3.jpgGuiding transfer students on their path to success, Katherine Stanford '19, shares invaluable insights and support.

Building Connections
One of Katherine's strengths is her ability to connect with students from various backgrounds. Having been considered an out-of-state student when she initially applied, she uses her experience to relate to students who may be nervous about moving away from home. Furthermore, having her parents move to Lakeland at the end of her first year allowed Katherine to live locally.

“These experiences help me build relationships with students from all over since I can relate to being further from and closer to family while being in college.”

She naturally guides transfer students by engaging in meaningful conversations, discussing their goals, and aligning their expectations with her and her friends' experiences. Additionally, the fact that approximately half of her teammates are FSC alums ensures students have access to different perspectives and experiences.

Lakeland's Appeal
FSC's ideal size, in terms of student population and personalized experiences, gives transfer students the perfect balance of opportunities and resources to reach their goals, explains Katherine, adding that the College's Lakeland setting is a big part of what makes Florida Southern an excellent choice for transfers.

"I love the overall sense of community there is here!"

Florida Southern students have numerous opportunities to engage with the Lakeland area during their academic journeys, making it a great place to establish a career after graduation.

"This influences some of our students' decisions to transfer since they're looking for a sense of community. Here, they find it both on and off campus."

Advice for Transfer Students
Katherine advises students considering transferring to Florida Southern College to schedule a visit

"A personal visit can help students establish connections with the campus and current students, giving them the confidence they need to make the right choice," says Katherine.

Taking the Next Step: Completing Your Application
As National Transfer Student Week comes to a close, Katherine encourages prospective transfer students to take the next step and apply to FSC! 

"Our application is free, and the process is very simple. It automatically provides credit evaluations and scholarship information, so students can easily get answers to almost all of their questions just by going through that process."

She also invites students to set up a meeting with their Admissions counselor.

"We're always happy to talk and love building relationships with students and their families."

Start your Florida Southern journey! Apply today »