HR or Academic Dopers: How many school transfers are to many?

I currently go to school part time at Mega State University. Its the thrid college I’ve attended in the 11 years ( :eek: ) since I graduated from high school. I am thinking about transfering to Minor Local University. This would be my 3rd transfer.

Is there such a thing as to many academic transfers? Do employeers care how many schools a person attends or is it all about having the BS?

Thank you all very much. :smiley:

The Mouse.

It depends on the field, but usually it doesn’t matter. Heck, I’ve attended…14! different colleges/universities during either undergrduate or graduate days.

You only really have to list the insititution awarding the diploma on your resume, anyway–especially if there is a detailed work history.

Oh, that’s a relief. I thought you had to list all the schools you attened on your resume.

Work experience I have in spades. (If you’re curious, check out my website:
All I need is the freakin’ BS.

Thanks **silenus ** and Manda JO! :smiley:

I’ve certainly been asked to list all the schools that I’ve attended on various job applications–and it drives me bonkers that listing 3–two of them grad schools, doesn’t fit well in the blanks. (Many job applications that I have filled out have 1-2 slots for undergrad, 1-2 technical, 1 for grad and/or 1 for professional not neccessarily in that order). And in an interview, you should be prepared to explain your college-transfer pattern–not that they will neccessarily ask, but that would a question you should be prepared for if they do ask.

Still, if you’ve got appropriate work experience–you’ve got a big leg up on me trying to find a job. (We will ignore the minor detail that you are unlikely to be directly competing with me for the position anyway).

I’ve had to do that as well. You’re right, there isn’t enough room on the application. I had to explain my college transfer once, and I said that the reason was “personal” and they let it drop.

I’m not to sure about that. I have some work experience, but no degree. There have been jobs were they wanted to hire me, but the job ad listed “BS required” and they couldn’t get around that. :confused:

Good luck to you!

For someone who is already doing the non-traditional student thing, I don’t think number of transfers would be a big factor (HR person here). However, a degree from a major university might be more prestigious than from a small local school.

Having read a number of your posts, I think you should be careful about being perceived as someone who has an adversarial relationship with administration. That is something HR people really strive to avoid in screening applicants. To the extent that another transfer might indicate another conflict with the school, if may be a red flag in your situation.

In an academic job market, you will definitely be asked to list every school you attended, sooner or later.

You have a good point about me having an adversarial relationship with the university’s administration. I view myself as a customer (I am taking out loans to pay tuition) and I’m getting lousy service. I’m also an employee of the university and I’m tired of scandals followed by bad management. Damn, I’m complaining again. Sorry. . .
Anyway, thank you for the advise and good luck with your classes!

:smack: :smack:

Reading my post, I sounded very snarky. The bad feelings weren’t aimed at you, Harriet the Spry. I’m just frustrated with this University and I need to take my feelings to a more appropriate place. Maybe Siberia. . .

Sorry :o

No problem. My point is that no matter how bad it is, you need to make sure the adversarial perception doesn’t come through as you market yourself for jobs. It is the same principle as when they ask in an interview why you left your last employer. That question must always be answered without sounding adversarial, or bitter, even if you worked at Enron for the Devil Wears Prada lady’s evil twin. Do whatever it takes (exercise, meditation, Ben & Jerry’s) to get to the point where you can put the negative behind you and come across as positive about your career. If you do switch schools, you will need to say something like "I switched to SLU because they provided a great opportunity to … " not “I left ESU because they …”

I’m on my third going on my forth!

It doesn’t hurt that I many of the colleges are nearby. One reason is so that I can get an email from the college. I can get on more Facebook networks that way.

As far as employer concerns… as long as you show that you are focused by having a main college (eg. taking summer classes at a different college) you should be ok.

If they are concerned about such things, a look at the relevant transcripts might be probative. A person with a couple of flunk outs early, but with solid academic achievment later, in another school, might be seen as maturing over time. Somebody with a few semesters here and there, with reasonable grades all around might be in a military family that moves often, or might need to work a few semesters to save money to use for a few more semesters of school. As a general rule, you aren’t going to be lecturing at Harvard with a degree from Bugtussle Community College…but non-academic employers are probably more interested in what you can actually do. That said, I am neither HR nor Academic, and I didn’t even stay at Holiday Inn Express last night…

Obviously employers only see the school conferring the degree.
From a practical standpoint, more than one transfer is too many. We all make mistakes. I didn’t like my business school so I transferred to a better one. No big deal. But if I transferred again, it would be kind of odd. Not to mention there’s always the hassle of losing credits that might not transfer.

I have a friend who went to three different colleges. Not “take a summer class here and there”. Completely transferred schools three times. Now granted he went to progressively better schools so in the end in was probably a good thing. But seeing as you are only there 4 years, you might want to research schools better.

I’m in a slightly different situation. I used to go to Mega State University, then left school and pretty much immediately enrolled in a community college in another state. I’ve been at the CC for three semesters; it’s probably the best CC in the county academically but it’s far from where I live, even farther from where I want to move, and I really really don’t want to have a car when I move out, plus I hate the people who live out there. Long story short, I live in a somewhat central-eastern part of San Diego and go to a school a little ways east of the city proper; and I want/plan to move [out from the rents’ house] all the way west and go to another school a few blocks away. Any advice?


First a question, how long did you spend at Mega State Unversity and how old were you when you left? (You are not required to answer this question on the board, but do think about it).

The younger you were when you left MSU, the shorter a time you spent there, especially if you stuck it out till the end of the semester, the better positioned you are to use some form of

"I thought I wanted to go to MSU. (They had a program in X, all my friends were going there, I wanted to go to the biggest and best school in my vicinity, other explanation which is true and appropriate).

Things didn’t work out (I was SOOO homesick, I did OK academically but hated needing binoculars to see my professors, The transition from high school to college was hard on me and I spent too much time drinking with my brand new frat buddies rather than studying, I took one class in Program X and decided I never wanted to have anything else to do with the subject, whatever is mostly true and doesn’t make you look too bad-- maybe even borrow Mouse Maven’s answer of dropped out for personal reasons).

I moved back home to regroup and promptly started attending Community College (while I figured out what I wanted to major in, while I got my finances figured out, while I demonstrated to my parents that I had learned from my mistakes, other explanation as appropriate).

Now that I have my act together, I want to attend Next School and major in X. I have researched my choices better, know more about myself than I did when I started MSU and anticipate graduating in Y semseters and hope to get a job doing Z".

Really, while many, many college students attend one school for 4-5 years and get a degree, students who attend a community college first and then transfer are quite common and get more or less the same education in the academic sense. Students who drop out after a semester or two at college are not unusual, and many of them spend time at a community college in circumstances not unlike yours. Having a degree will matter more than how many schools it took you to get it, and once you have your first job, no one will really look back much beyond that. And don’t forget Harriet the Spry’s advice. Emphasize what you went TO rather than what you left FROM whenever possible. No matter how bitter you are or deserve to be, future employers do not want to hear your greivances, especially in the interview process.

In other words, go for it.

This line bothered me all night, so I had to come back and comment.

If you carry this attitude into all of your classes, that is likely to be a big source of your problems at every institution. And it will continue to be a problem. Although I see where the “customer” idea comes from, it is not conducive to a good learning environment. The professors are not there to make you happy 100% of the time. They are there to help you learn and then assess your learning for the benefit of future employers.

You have always struck me as a sensible poster, so it shocked me that you feel this way. And, just out of curiosity, will you have to change jobs when you transfer? I thought you liked your job…

Well, basically what you laid out describes my timeline perfectly. (Not so much homesick or “OK academically”…) I have a few questions still, though:

a. I want to move to a different community college in a different district. Again, because I want to move out – how does this look generally?

b. I want to transfer back to the same MSU once I’ve finished the seemingly 8,000,000 credits I have to do. Is this problematic?

I am probably not qualified to give you advice on this issue. If other advice pops up from other posters, pay attention, though take it with the usual stranger on the internet grain of salt.

Having said that, why do you want to move out? Don’t get along with your parents? Downplay that. Want freedom to sleep till noon and party till midnight? Downplay that. Want to increase your level of independence and demonstrate your maturity by not having someone else wake you up and feed you? Play that up. Compare the two community colleges. Is the one you want to attend bigger? You’d like to adjust to a larger, more hectic environment, before tackling MSU. Smaller? You want smaller class sizes and more individual attention. Whatever works and is true.

In your situation, I might emphasize that you attended first community college because it was convenient/to appease your parents, and selected the second one on the basis of (whatever your real reasons are, with some limits if your reasons are going to sound really shallow, stupid, or insincere).

I think your biggest problem here will be persuading MSU that you’ve now got the determination, the education, and the maturity to benefit from their program. Future employers, especially the first one, will want to know why you spent time at the community colleges, but aren’t going to care too much about the details. Think of it this way, your goal is to be able to explain your past in a way that says, “Look, I may have made some mistakes, but I’ve learned from them, and my odd path makes me the perfect person for this job because . . .”

Great advice, thanks!

I’m not bothered by the attitude, I’m bothered by the spilling of his guts big time at just a little mention of an adversarial relationship and off he goes!
I think the number of schools attended won’t be THE problem at interviews.
best wishes,