Transfer students like sophomore Luke Nordman and sophomore Steven Ryan found a home at Taylor University through Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Jeff Cramer by helping them feel welcomed.
Nordman previously attended Indiana Wesleyan University, but realized that the school was not right for him.
“Some people love it, for sure, but I just didn’t have what I was looking for,” Nordman said.
Even before becoming a student at Taylor, Nordman felt connected to the community from visiting Taylor frequently since his brother also went there. Everybody he met was friendly and the community made Taylor feel like home. Nordman knew he was meant to be there.
“Every time I came, I just loved the community, and everybody’s so nice and welcoming here,” Nordman said.
Some of Nordman’s first impressions when he visited Taylor was that he liked how the landscape was open and that it did not feel congested. The open door policy, an idea that some floors have where one should leave their door open to increase community, was another thing Nordman appreciated because he liked how having the door to his room be open allows you to build relationships with your wing or floor.
Transferring to Taylor also allowed Nordman to draw closer to God.
“The first night I was here, I went off to a field and looked at the stars to get away and talk to God for a while, and that’s been huge for me,” Nordman said.
One big lesson that Nordman would take away from transferring to Taylor was that he realized this was a place that he is truly happy at.
When Ryan applied for college, he originally signed to play football for the Trojans, but ended up choosing to attend Wheaton since he lives around the area. After being at Wheaton for a little while, Ryan felt like it was not the right school for him, and Taylor had a better opportunity with regard to his major, which is film.
Ryan knew about Taylor for a long time, and he always liked the school.
“When I visited my sophomore year of high school, I liked it; both my parents went there so even in middle school, I knew about Taylor,” Ryan said. “I always kind of thought, I’d end up here. But then when I got here, I’d say the people were really friendly.”
Transferring to Taylor during the COVID-19 pandemic was a concern for Ryan along with finances and his rooming situation, especially since he was late to the process, but he was thankful it worked out.
Throughout this transition, he grew close to people on his wing and learned a lot about balancing life and faith.
For about eight years, Cramer has helped transfer students feel like they are a part of the Taylor community.
Being the coordinator of the foundational curriculum, he has had the opportunity to work with transfer students by approving transfer classes so they are able to bring in credits from another institution that could count for foundational core classes.
Choosing which classes to count for credit has been challenging for Cramer since he has to decide whether it fits within the foundational core curriculum.
“There is a fine line between accepting transfer courses, because you want to help the student, but also protecting our foundational core in the unique things we’re trying to do,” Cramer said.
Cramer has a heart for students and wants them to feel welcomed and feel that they are meant to be at Taylor. He has loved seeing transfer students flourish over the years.
“I have seen many transfer students arrive to a welcoming, caring community that embraces transfer students and acknowledges all that they bring to our community,” Cramer said.