Each year, transfer students are celebrated during National Transfer Student Week. This year, we mark the occasion October 16 through October 20, 2023, and will treat our Russell Sage College students who transferred to us with doughnuts to thank them for choosing Sage.

As we celebrate transfer students, hear from Ray Rodriguez, associate director of undergraduate enrollment management-transfer at Sage, who has advice for prospective transfer students who are in the process of selecting a college. (And stick around to hear from some of our students about their own transfer experiences).

What advice would you give to a student looking to transfer colleges? 

Stay true to yourself. It’s common for students to think they need to change their approach in a new school to succeed. However, remember that you got here for a reason, and what you have been doing may still be effective. While there’s always room for improvement, you bring something unique to the classroom and campus.

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone during the first week and make new friends. Building connections early can help answer your questions and provide valuable insights about navigating academic and campus life.

Lastly, hold yourself accountable. You’re starting with a clean slate, so make the most of this opportunity. Some students might procrastinate due to their previous school’s expectations, but ensure you stay on top of your work and avoid falling behind.

What are some common questions you get from students looking to transfer to Sage? 

Do my credits transfer? Yes, we try to take as many credits as possible. It depends on your grades and the accreditation of your college. We can bring in anywhere from 50 to 75, depending on your major requirements. 

What are the prerequisite courses needed for the nursing program? 

  • Anatomy & Physiology I (w/lab)
  • Anatomy & Physiology II (w/lab)
  • Microbiology (w/lab)
  • General Chemistry (w/lab)
  • General Nutrition**
  • ANY Sociology or anthropology-prefixed course (typically General Sociology)**
  • General Psychology**
  • Human Development or Developmental Psychology

Do art students have space to work on projects on campus?  Art students have 24-hour access on the Albany campus to studios and a dedicated room to build their portfolios.

What happens if I change my mind from occupational therapy to physical therapy? Our majors have a course map that enables students to switch to similar majors with ease. As the OT and PT majors are part of our Health Science track, many courses are similar. However, it’s important to note that some degree requirements may differ.

How soon can I get a job with a business degree from Russell Sage?  Our business department offers students the opportunity to participate in an internship before they graduate. Most courses have students work with our Career and Self-Discovery Center before students graduate so that they can be placed with a job by the time they graduate. 

What advice would you give to transfer students once they get on campus? 

The first thing a student should do once you arrive on campus is stop and look around. You made it! Reflect on this moment. Your hard work got you here, and it will help you get to where you want to be next. If you have any questions, stop by Solutions on the first floor of each library. Attend an event. You may make a new friend who can help you acclimate to the Sage community. 

Why do you enjoy working with transfer students? 

The best part of working with transfer students is guiding them toward the next stage of their academic, personal, and professional journey.  I enjoy helping students discover their next steps, and luckily, their future could potentially be at Russell Sage. Transfer students have experience with navigating resources and asking insightful questions. This makes it easier for me to help students who are interested in applying to Russell Sage College and keeps me motivated.

Why are transfer students important to the campus community? 

Transfer students are essential to the campus community because they bring different perspectives to the classroom and campus culture. As a result, we now have more opportunities for campus activities and networking. They provide valuable feedback on our practices by sharing what worked best for them at their previous school and what we are currently doing well. 


Why did you transfer to Russell Sage College?

“The opportunity to be in a pathway program for graduate school for the Doctorate of Physical Therapy (4+3) program, upon completion of academic requirements during the undergraduate program. The small school atmosphere, I believe I benefitted from having a close relationship with my classmates and professors, who also do their best to prepare you for graduate school.

– Asuan Farrell, now a Doctor of Physical Therapy student

During my undergrad, I transferred here in a unique situation. The school I was at cut my entire program, with no warning, and no help to find another school. I loved Sage because as a transfer everyone was so welcoming and I enjoyed the small campus feel! Compared to my previous school, it felt like people really cared here, and it felt a lot more like home. The transfer process itself was quick and easy because I had lots of people on the admissions team to help. Since transferring, I had opportunities to play on the field hockey team, work in admissions, and graduated in the honors program. Now I am a GA in the office of accessibility! Transferring to Sage has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because it has opened so many new doors for me academically and personally!”

– Katie Flood, now a graduate student in Occupational Therapy

“When I first applied at Russell Sage College as an adult learner, I was nervous about the process of application, admissions, and affordability. At Russell Sage College the advisors made the transition for a transfer student process very comfortable, easy, and understandable. I was blessed to receive a transfer honors scholarship that was automatically considered when I applied also the Helen Upton Scholar program. This program is tailored for women aged 25 and older to recognize specific requirements of students outside the conventional undergraduate demographic and for those who may already be managing both careers and family responsibilities. I also had the opportunity to join CSTEP, which helped tremendously with guidance on any questions about the nursing program, tutors, uniform payments, and funding for books if needed. I love the fact that classrooms were small and the school gave you opportunities to get to know your professors on a one-to-one basis to make learning more applicable for students. Presently, I am in my capstone semester doing clinicals on a medical/ surgical unit which is a medical oncology and hematology floor. I look forward to starting my career in nursing and in the near future continuing my education to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner.”

– Ryan Mallory, nursing student

The reason I came to Sage is I was at a small school and kind of wanted to replicate that in a way. Being at Sage, I find that it was a very easy transition for me, my teachers often respond to my emails making reaching out easier, as well as smaller classes so I’m not overwhelmed, and I am able to get the help I need. Everyone I’ve met, whether it’s staff or a fellow student is a great person. I also have the wonderful opportunity of being a part of the HEOP program, which has done nothing but support me while I’ve been here.”

– Dontrelle Wright 

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