Annice Fisher was the first person in her family to go to college when she attended the University of Illinois. She earned her bachelor’s degree there and went on to get her master’s degree in higher education administration at Iowa State.
Looking back on it, she knows now what helped her not just survive but thrive in school.
“I had mentors in my life who guided and supported me when I was at Illinois,” she says. “In the end, I want to do that for someone else.”
Fisher is filling that role in her new job at UNC. She is the transfer student retention coordinator, a position that was created in the fall of 2012. Fisher started in the job in February 2013 and her main goal is to improve transfer student success and graduation rates for the more than 2,000 transfer students at Carolina.
She works to do that by serving as the primary contact on campus for transfer students. During the summer, Fisher emails the students information about transitioning to UNC. Before classes begin, she sends them resources on preparing for academic expectations at UNC. She also holds regular office hours for transfer students who need academic and transition support.
“We want transfer students to think of UNC-Chapel Hill as a place that is welcoming, a place where they can be successful and where they can thrive,” Fisher says.
Fisher is also evaluating the current policies regarding transfer students and collaborating with other departments on transfer student programs. One of her first projects was creating a new web site targeted to transfer students to help them at Carolina.
Fisher admits that transferring to Carolina, particularly as a junior, can be overwhelming but she encourages students to see the transition as an opportunity for growth. She often reminds the students of their previous academic successes that helped get them to UNC, talks to them about the academic resources on campus, helps them develop academic habits that will help them succeed and encourages them to meet with faculty if they are struggling in a class.
“My goal is to help those students realize their academic potential and meet their academic goals,” Fisher says. She hopes when they graduate, they will say “I’m leaving Chapel Hill a better version of me.”
Written by Natalie Vizuete. Photo by Dan Sears.
Published November 1, 2013.