UC Santa Barbara’s Educational Opportunity Program launched the Summer Transfer Transition Program, a project designed to smoothen the transition for transfer students starting at UCSB, for the first time this summer.

The three-day “bridge” program – focused on helping transfer students with the transition to a new college – was offered to Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) students during the last week in August.

Over the course of the three days, students learned about several campus resources, such as the Office of Financial Aid, as well as leadership opportunities and the different major departments around campus.

The program was created in hopes of fostering higher retention rates for transfer students beyond their first year at UCSB, according to Angelica Caudillo, a Counselor for Student Transfer Services, and Brenda Curiel, EOP’s Assistant Director.

“Transfer students face a multitude of challenges once they transfer to a 4 year institution,” Caudillo and Curiel said in a joint email.

“[Challenges include] adjusting to the campus, transitioning from semester to quarter system, financial aid support, obtaining a sense of community [and] getting connected with campus resources.”

In 2016, the first year transfer retention rate was 92.7 percent, according to UC Undergraduate Graduation Rates.

Data courtesy of the Univerity of California Office of the President. Hayley Tice / Daily Nexus

The percentage of transfer students who were accepted into UCSB has increased in recent years, jumping from 51.6 percent for the 2016- 2017 school year to 55.7 percent for the 2017-2018 school year, according to UCSB’s Campus Profile.

The creation of Summer Transfer Tradition Program (STTP) was in part a response to this growing demographic.

“The goal of the EOP Summer Transfer Transition Program is to retain transfer students… and build a sense of community, and support their academic and overall success at UCSB,” Caudillo and Curiel said.

Several on-campus departments, including the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, Tropicana Housing and the College of Letters and Science, aided EOP in the development of the program.

“EOP focused in a holistic approach for the entirety of the summer program,” Caudillo and Curiel said.

According to the EOP Website, the EOP office strives to immerse “income eligible and first-generation undergraduates” within campus life to help them thrive both academically and socially, and as a result, to prepare them to find jobs in their respective fields following graduation.