The University of Maryland SGA is planning to implement a mentorship program for first-year transfer students coming to the university.

The program, which will be rolled out as a pilot during the fall 2023 semester, will pair current students with new transfers to introduce them to campus culture, extracurriculars and events. Mentors may be eligible to receive teaching assistant credit, according to Nicholas Enoch, a junior government and politics and Chinese major who has been working on the bill.

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“I feel like implementing this transfer mentor program will help transfers that are integrated into the UMD community,” he said.

Enoch believes the bill is a necessity because he says there is a lack of transfer student resources on campus. Sarah Han, a sophomore bioengineering major who is a bill sponsor, agreed with Enoch.“It’s absolutely important because I think college is such a transition,” Han said. “Even though the student orientation office will provide some type of information, there is definitely some unspoken information.”

Enoch expects about 10 to 15 students to get involved initially, but hopes to grow the program each semester. The details of the mentor program are still being finalized, he said.

Syed Abbas, a sophomore information science major, is a transfer student representative for SGA. He transferred to this university from Howard County Community College in the fall, and said that although he already knew a lot of students from his high school, he wished he had more support as a new transfer.

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“Transfer students don’t really have the biggest outreach to go to,” Abbas said. “I haven’t really met as many people as I would like to.”

In the future, Abbas plans to continue to work on improving the transfer student experience. He said he is starting communication with the transfer student office to promote events and plans to help acclimate transfer students to campus life.

“You’re not really making friends, and meeting people and making those connections is a little harder compared to those that started their four years in university,” Abbas said. “I definitely think for transfer students, it’s a little hard.”