Read 2 Transfer Student Essays That Worked

There are as many reasons to transfer colleges as there are transfer students. But regardless of why someone wants to move to a new institution, the process for doing so usually requires an admissions essay.

In a recent National Association for College Admission Counseling survey, around 42 percent of colleges polled said a transfer applicant’s essay or writing sample is of either considerable or moderate importance in the admission decision. Roughly 28 percent said it was of limited importance.

A compelling, well-written transfer essay doesn’t guarantee acceptance – many other factors are at play, such as an applicant’s GPA. However, a strong essay can be a factor that helps move the odds in the applicant’s favor, says Kathy Phillips, associate dean of undergraduate admissions at Duke University in North Carolina.

Some schools have prospective transfer students use the Common App or the Coalition Application to apply. In addition to the main essay, students may be required to submit a second writing sample or respond to short-answer questions, though this isn’t always the case. Prospective students can check a college’s website for specific guidance regarding how to apply.

Whatever application method they use, prospective students should be aware that writing a transfer essay is not the same as writing a first-year college application essay, experts advise. First-year essays are more open-ended, says Niki Barron, associate director of admissions at Middlebury College in Vermont. When applying as first-years, prospective students can generally write about any experience, relationship or goal that has shaped who they are as people, she says.

This contrasts with transfer essays, where the focus is typically narrower. Barron says she thinks of transfer essays as more of a statement of purpose. “We’re really looking to see students’ reasons for wanting to transfer,” she says.

Katie Fretwell, dean of admission and financial aid at Amherst College in Massachusetts, says prospective transfer students are in a position to be a bit more reflective about their educational goals because of their additional year or years of experience post-high school. The essay helps admissions officers get a sense of whether an applicant has done “an appropriate level of soul-searching about the match,” she says.

Below are two recent transfer essays that helped students get into Duke and Amherst, respectively. Both institutions are very selective in transfer admissions. According to U.S. News data, for fall 2016, Duke had a transfer acceptance rate of 4.8 percent, and Amherst accepted 6.2 percent of its transfer applicants.

How To Think Positive Everyday: 4 Simple Steps to a Happier Life

If you take a quick look at our culture deck, you can see the high priority we place on this. Since I joined the team, positive thinking is something I’ve focused on a lot, and it’s been fun to see how spending time with positive thinkers rubs off on me.

At the moment, some of us are experimenting with sharing one great moment we had at the end of each day. I’ve found that making this a habit has encouraged me to look out for positive moments during the day, since I know I’ll need to share one later on. It’s also been a great way to increase my feelings of gratitude—often for everyday things, like a great coffee to start the day or encouragement from a friend.

I wanted to really dig into positive thinking as a habit and see what science has to say about it. I found some really interesting research on how positive thinking can improve our health and happiness, as well as some great advice to cultivate a habit of being positive.

Why be positive in the first place? – Consider these 3 key benefits

Before we get into building positivity into your life, let’s look at why we would even bother. What are the real benefits of being more positive?

The first thing I realized is how negative emotions affect us: they have proven many times to narrow our focus and scope of work. It’s one of the most powerful ways shut our minds off to opportunities or new ideas. This is why this post about listening with intent to agree is so great—it encourages listening with a positive emotion (agreeability) in mind, so that our minds will more naturally open up to what the speaker is saying.

We know that the effects of negative emotions are biological instincts programmed into our brains to help us survive. For example, if we were to come across a dangerous animal in the wild, the negative emotions of fear and anxiety would narrow our focus so that all we could think about was not becoming that animal’s dinner. This helped us to more efficiently direct our energy and mental functions towards that objective, without wasting our resources on unnecessary actions like working out which direction we’re going or thinking about what to have for dinner when we get home.

Of course, modern life doesn’t often put us in life-and-death situations like this, so allowing negative emotions to narrow our thinking can be harmful. It can make us less open, more hard-headed and more difficult to communicate with.

1. Negativity doesn’t work – Literally – Our subconcious brain can’t handle it

The other thing about negativity is that our brains can’t process negative words according to the latest studies. So when we hear phrase like “don’t smoke” or “don’t touch that,” our subconscious skips over these negative words and simply hears “smoke” or “touch that.” Our conscious mind can obviously process these words, but it’s the subconscious that makes a lot of our decisions without us realizing.

For young children, this can often be an issue because they haven’t learned to use their conscious minds to process those negative words and take control of the subconscious to make sure they follow instructions correctly. It’s no surprise why children decide that way if you look at the split between conscious and subconscious mind according to psychology:

Conscious mind versus subconscious mind

What this means for us is that we struggle to change our habits or thought patterns when we tell ourselves negative phrases, since only our conscious minds can take those in. We can make this much easier and let the subconscious do its job by using positively-framed phrases like “refrain from smoking” or “walk away from that.”

2. You’ll improve your outlook of the future

Positive thinking can actually improve our overall happiness. I’ve written about this before in terms of noting down things we’re grateful for on a regular basis and how that can improve our happiness.

A study at the University of North Carolina also showed that positive emotions are more likely to encourage people to plan ahead and think of actions they would like to take or activities they’d like to participate in the future. Negative emotions, on the other hand, led to participants being less inclined to think positively about their future.

3. You’ll be more healthy

Yep, positivity has shown to directly affect your physical health. Another study from the University of North Carolina used the ancient practice of loving-kindness meditation to test how cultivating positive feelings like love, compassion and goodwill towards others could affect the emotional and physical health of the participants.

Compared to the control group who did not participate in the meditation, the meditators showed increases in positive emotions like amusement, awe and gratitude during the research period. They also reported feeling more socially connected and closer to the people around them.

Physically, these participants showed improvements in vagal tone which is linked to cardiovascular health and a general indicator of physical well-being.

Benefits of Technology in the Classroom

As we sail through the 21st century, technology in the classroom is becoming more and more predominant. Tablets are replacing our textbooks, and we can research just about anything that we want to on our smartphones. Social media has become commonplace, and the way we use technology has completely transformed the way we live or lives.

Educators, too, have seen firsthand the benefits of technology in the classroom. According to a study by IT Trade Association CompTIA just released this month, around 75 percent of educators think that technology has a positive impact in the education process. Educators also recognize the importance of developing these technological skills in students so they will be prepared to enter the workforce once they complete their schooling.

The impact that technology has had on today’s schools has been quite significant. This widespread adoption of technology has completely changed how teachers teach and students learn. Teachers are learning how to teach with emerging technologies (tablets, iPads, Smart Boards, digital cameras, computers), while students are using advanced technology to shape how they learn. By embracing and integrating technology in the classroom, we are setting our students up for a successful life outside of school. Here are a few benefits of using it.

Technology in the Classroom

According to the study mentioned above, students prefer technology because they believe that it makes learning more interesting and fun. They especially like laptops and tablets. Subjects that students deem challenging or boring can become more interesting with virtual lessons, through a video, or when using a tablet.

Technology Prepares Students for the Future

CompTIA’s study showed that 9 out of 10 students indicated that using technology in the classroom would help prepare them for the digital future. These 21st-century skills are essential in order to be successful in this day and age. Jobs that may not have had a digital component in the past, may have one now. Education isn’t just about memorizing facts and vocabulary words, it’s about solving complex problems and being to collaborate with others in the workforce. Ed-tech in the classroom prepares students for their future and sets them up for this increasing digital economy.

Improved Retention Rate

Student perceptions in the study believe that technology helps them retain information better. According to different a study, these students may be on to something. Eighteen 2nd grade students were challenged to complete a Power Point project about an animal. Sixteen out of the 18 students remembered more facts about the animal after completing the presentation. These results show that technology indeed helps students remember what they learn.

Technology Helps Students Learn at Their Own Pace

Today’s technology enables students to learn at their own pace. For example, almost all apps allow for individualized instruction. Students can learn according to their abilities and needs. This form of teaching is also great for the teacher because it gives him/her the time to work individually with students who may be struggling.

Technology Connects with Students

Technology occupies an important place within students’ lives. When they are not in school, just about everything that they do is connected in some way to technology. By integrating technology into the classroom, teachers are changing the way they used to teach (lectures six hours a day) and providing students with the tools that will take them into the 21st century.

Technology changes by the minute, and as educators we need to keep up with the times in order to best prepare our students for this ever-changing world that we live in. While we just saw how integrating technology into the classroom has its benefits, it’s important to note that traditional learning processes are just as essential. Take time to learn about each element of ed-tech that you will incorporate into your classroom. When you do, you will find that technology can have a profound impact on your students learning.

Teaching the history of marketing thought: an approach

The demise of once ubiquitous PhD seminars in the history of marketing thought in universities across the USA raises at least two questions: first, what is the value added by knowing about the development of marketing concepts, constructs, theories, approaches and schools of thought? Second, if such knowledge does add value to the PhD program, why are courses in the history of marketing thought declining?

In answer to the first question, it seems ironic to have to justify to colleagues the value of a doctoral seminar on the history of marketing thought in a marketing PhD curriculum. Ideas (i.e. concepts) are the basic raw materials with which academics deal. Consequently, knowledge of the conceptual development of the discipline would appear to add immense value to budding marketing scholars preparatory to their beginning a lifelong career in developing testable theories constructed of concepts found scattered around the literature. (This, of course, argues for a marketing theory course and one in marketing thought; for that discussion, see six commentaries on the relationship of marketing thought to further theory development in Marketing Theory, Vol. 11 No. 4, December 2011).

It seems intuitively obvious that no matter how superbly one measures superficial or ambiguous concepts, such quantification will yield little of value to research. On the other hand, organizing a set of clearly defined and logically related concepts provides the building blocks for constructing testable theories, this being of potentially immeasurable research value. Research, the process of searching for answers to questions, starts with conceptual understanding, and the source of concepts and theories is found in the literature. That is, the search – in research – begins in the discipline’s collective body of knowledge, otherwise known as the history or development of thought. “[T]he history of thought is mined for the raw materials and component parts, i.e. the concepts and theories, required to produce new knowledge” (Shaw, 2009, p. 331). This is a notion enshrined in the history of scientific thought by Newton’s (1676/1959) familiar expression: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. The reference to “giants” is not an allusion to huge people; it is a metaphor for building on the great ideas found in the scholarly literature. If as Newton proposed, one views science as a self-improvement project involving the development of ideas from concepts into testable theories, then the building process (even in a social science such as marketing) begins with reading the relevant literature to learn about the significant concepts that exist. Thus, studying the history of any discipline’s thought, including marketing, is invaluable to developing and improving the ability both to explain and to predict phenomena.

Given that knowledge of the conceptual developments in a discipline clearly does add value to the PhD marketing curriculum, the second question is more perplexing: why has there been a decline in courses covering the history of marketing thought? There are undoubtedly several reasons. Perhaps the main reason is the sub-disciplinary silos brought about by the fragmentation of the marketing discipline (Bartels, 1974; Wilkie and Moore, 2003). Most contemporary scholars focus on a sub-discipline, such as marketing management or consumer/buyer behavior. It is far easier to teach the history of thought in a single specialty area in a course, than it is to cover the development of marketing ideas as a whole. One example of the discipline’s fragmentation into sub-disciplinary silos is found in the works of Bartels. From the early 1900s up until 1960, Bartels (1962) could list all the academic textbooks in seven specific areas (e.g. retail, wholesale and advertising) and one “general area” of marketing thought. However, by 1975, the proliferation of books became too great even for Bartels (1976) to manage, in his second edition, and his attempt at organizing conceptual developments to that point in time fell into utter disarray (Shaw and Tamilia, 2001, p. 160). By his third and last edition, the explosion of new book titles was so numerous that Bartels’ (1988) did not even attempt to extend the listings in his final book. The point is that it becomes increasingly difficult to keep-up with even a single specialized sub-discipline let alone keep an eye on developments across many sub-disciplines.

Unfortunately, ever greater specialization in ever narrower subject matter increases the difficulty – without standing on the shoulders of giants – of seeing how the sub-disciplinary pieces fit into a systematically unified whole. Specialization in sub-disciplines, in contrast to generalized knowledge of the discipline as a whole, produces a vicious cycle: as the number of history of marketing thought courses decline, the number of budding doctoral students capable of teaching such broad courses on the whole history of marketing thought will also decline, this still further reducing future courses and, as a consequence, future scholars capable of teaching them. While an overwhelming number of marketing doctoral students will specialize in a sub-discipline, it would be beneficial to the discipline as a whole if at least a few young scholars were encouraged to generalize about how the various sub-areas inter-relate to each other.

Another likely reason for the decline of historical/conceptual courses in doctoral programs is the rise of allegedly more rigorous quantitative techniques. As a PhD student in the 1970s, I took a course in multidimensional scaling (MDS), then the fashionable quantitative technique but now almost obsolete. Most contemporary doctoral curricula include a course in structural equation modeling (SEM), the currently reigning fashion in quantitative techniques. The main change in the technology appears to be the letters comprising the acronyms of the underlying algorithms. Although quantitative techniques are certainly valuable, to the extent they are more sophisticated than the concepts they purport to measure, the less likely they will exhibit construct validity, the more likely it is that garbage in will produce garbage out (Quinion, 2005). Rigor in theory development is at least as important as rigor in methodological techniques. Consequently, because of the necessity to develop clear and concise concepts to guide marketing research and practice, one must understand the evolutionary development of marketing terms to see how their conceptual meaning often becomes ambiguous and encrusted over time. To illustrate this problem, the first class assignment in my PhD course described below, involves discussing and categorizing more than one hundred definitions (conceptual meanings) of the term “marketing.”