As I prepare to graduate from UMKC in December, I can truly state that I have never felt like a true Kangaroo or that I’m so hardcore in love with this school that I bleed blue and gold. I’m not sure if that stems from me being a transfer student, a commuter student, an avid hater of the University of Missouri portion of our name or some combination of all three.
I do truly think that the transfer factor has something to do with it. I didn’t transfer to UMKC because I was so enthralled with the course offerings. I came here because it was the most convenient option and somewhat reasonably priced, or so I thought.
I came to UMKC with about 60 credits from my previous college. UMKC only accepted 46 of them. The credits which were declined were crucial, so instead of being a junior on track for a 2010 graduation, I was a sophomore who was forced spend thousands of dollars on courses I had already passed. Unfortunately for me, those courses weren’t considered “junior/senior level,” and therefore were unacceptable.
Needless to say, I wasn’t a happy camper, and I am not the only student who was put off by UMKC’s transfer protocols. Senior Allison Nehls is graduating in May and is on her second stint as a transfer student at UMKC.
“The hardest part for me about transferring was trying to transfer my credits,” Nehls said. “UMKC didn’t accept my literature credits so I have to petition that. Also, I’m not sure if they are going to count the internships I already did, or if I’ll have to do another. I’m still working on finding that out. I don’t understand why they are that picky about credits.”
Unfortunately, I have heard countless versions of our stories from numerous other transfer students. It makes one wonder if UMKC is more concerned about making money from students than educating them.
Bryan Whitehead, a journalism professor at Kansas City Kansas Community College, gave his thoughts on major universities that make students retake courses.
“Colleges at all levels make money based on how many students they enroll and how many credit hours they take,” Whitehead said. “So you can see why they want to keep students from taking classes at other schools, but that’s short sighted. If students get the basics out of the way at a community college, that should free them up to take more upper-level classes at a four-year school.”
Many transfer students, myself included, feel that the education we received at our previous schools was more than sufficient and that we shouldn’t have to retake classes we have already passed. Whitehead agreed.
“I don’t think community college classes are as good as their four-year equivalents,” Whitehead said. “I think community college courses are better. The students are just as good, and so are the faculty. But class sizes tend to be smaller, and the two-year schools tend to be better with student support.”
With about two months left in my UMKC career, I can walk away knowing that this university and I used each other. The school used me for extra income, and I used it for a college degree.