Skip to main content

Connecting Applicants in New Ways at Iowa State University

Navigating the Transfer Maze

Iowa State University's Tim Hauber is the Assistant Director of Transfer Recruitment. He knows the Iowa State transfer process inside and out - including the pain points that some students experience. Navigating the transfer process - credits, requirements, programs, and non-academic logistics - can be a daunting task for individual students often working in isolation. These barriers result in lost enrollment and bumpy transfers into Iowa State programs where additional courses might be needed.

Hauber shares:

It [the transfer process] is not always easy for students to understand. We know that creating smoother transfer pathways will not only increase our transfer enrollment, but truly help more of our students once they arrive at Iowa State in successfully attaining their degree.

Building Connection and Community Around Shared Goals

To help solve the problem, Tim and his Admissions Graduate Assistant Claire Waletzki are partnering with their largest transfer partner, Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) to create a Huddle Up online experience specifically for DMACC students interested in transferring to Iowa State.

DMACC's Director of Student Development, Wade Robinson, is excited by the opportunity it provides his students. "Iowa State has always been a great partner with DMACC. It has been our students' number one destination for years." But even with the past success, it has been difficult to support each student's transfer journey. It's is a large institution, and each Iowa State program has unique requirements for a successful transfer and graduation. It can be confusing for some students to individually navigate this pathway.  Robinson notes just how this experience will help DMACC students:

With Huddle Up, we now have a really unique, structured platform that builds natural student connections, with each other and with staff at both institutions.  We see students sharing their own pathway ideas and questions they have.  They learn from others' ideas as well. Ultimately, it just makes us more of a community navigating the process together and supporting one another.

From Waletzki's perspective, she's been through the transfer process as an undergrad. She personally knows both the technical and personal aspects of successfully navigating the process.  It's more than simply helping students understand the transfer steps and credit requirements. 

I'm most excited for the opportunity for students to connect and work with one another within Huddle Up outside of school.  Especially for transfer students, a big part [of first-year success] is making connections before they get here.  They benefit from a network of other transfer students and also current students to really help them integrate and be successful.

She notes that transferring into a bigger school, some students worry about getting lost in the numbers. 

Connections Come From Shared Experiences

Robinson, Waletzki, and Hauber created an online project for DMACC students interested in transferring to Iowa State. Waltetzki appreciates the ability to customize it to fit her needs, so she can target the types of interactions she feels will be most valuable.

I find this [Huddle Up] really simplistic to use. Creating my own experience for students is really nice; I can just think about 'what engages them?'

In designing the project, the team aimed to build an online community by focusing on topics that would engage those who join and give them a shared experience.  The project starts with a few community-building introductions and short ice-breakers, but then quickly transitions into some small tasks that each student will complete and share. The shared ideas provide opportunities for students to compare, ask questions, and open up dialogue.  Each Huddle Up is completely customized.  The details are below.

  • Target audience: DMACC students interested in transferring to Iowa State
  • Duration: 3-4 weeks
  • Student expectations: About 1 hour per week
  • Topics:  
    1. Understanding credit requirements
    2. Developing an individual 4-Year Pathway Plan
    3. Housing choices
    4. Event days and additional support options

Robinson notes that the project isn't for everyone, but that's not the point. 

We're trying to provide a valuable experience for those that want it. I know that we have students who will really find this helpful. It's an email invite, one click to join. But if they don't join, that's fine too. Our shared goal is to support students in the process - and towards attaining their degree. We believe there's a lot of potential to really engage with students in ways we couldn't do before, and these experiences are going to make a difference. 

You can learn more about the unique interactive model of Huddle Up Learning through the videos below.

Huddle Up Overview: (0:40)

Project Homepage Navigation (2:12)


Popular posts from this blog

The Evolution of Online Learning: Four Stages and What's Next?

(This 2022 post was modified in July 2023.) The pandemic has made everyone far more knowledgeable about online learning platforms than they were 24 months ago. We each know (and feel) the strengths and the limitations of more than a few platforms.  We each have a long and growing list of features we want to see in the next evolution of online learning.  So, it seems a rather good time to step back and explore the evolution of online learning - to see how far we've come, and where we might be heading. One of the best resources out there is a simple progression chart shared in this intriguing article by Tiago Forte. The Future of Education is Community: The Rise of Cohort-Based Courses The evolution of online learning: What's next? We love big-picture reflections like this. While we are all aware of the current disconnect that still exists between the reality of our online learning platforms and the skills and knowledge we want to transfer to learners, we can all agree that the e

When did collaboration and learning become separated?

I like to talk to people about what systems, structures, and platforms they use to help their teams collaborate, learn, and problem-solve.  It doesn't really matter if I'm talking with trainers, consultants, or educators. I usually hear something like this: "We have our (training) courses inside of  ( INSERT NAME OF LMS HERE) . And, then we collaborate every week on  ( INSERT ZOOM, SLACK, GOOGLE MEET, ETC) " When did we start thinking / saying this?  Was this a prevalent phrase pre-pandemic? I don't remember hearing it then. (Perhaps I wasn't listening.) It's certainly a common paradigm now. More importantly, what impact does its arrival have on the way we structure our team's environments? For starters, it brings up a few odd questions. Aren't we naturally better learners when we collaborate? Aren't we better collaborators when we're learning along the way? Don't we do one better when we incorporate the other? When we think of the syst

Huddle Up: A Getting Started Guide for Project Leaders

Welcome to Huddle Up! This guide is to help Huddle Up Project Leaders get started. If you don't find the information you want below, e mail us or schedule a meeting with our team. If you wish to learn more general information about Huddle Up, click here . If you wish to join a project as a Huddle Up participant, click here . Your Interactive Platform We transform the way cohorts collaborate and learn by focusing on shared ideas and feedback  to build a more connected online community. CONTENTS OF THE GUIDE Registering on Huddle Up Creating a Project Inviting Users to Join Your Project Setting Up and Running Your Project General Overview Adding / Adjusting Content to your Project   Add a Ready Add a Run Add a Huddle Communicating and Interacting within Huddle Up REGISTERING ON HUDDLE UP If you have a Google account, register in just one click. Otherwise, create an account with any email and password combination. You will receive a confirmation email, pl