Office renamed to reflect total student population served

Contact: Cheryl Roland

An older woman and male student walk on campus together.KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's newly renamed Office of Student Transitions is reaffirming its focus on serving all new WMU students with programs that range from First-Year Experience Seminars to special services for transfer and nontraditional students as well as those commuting to classes.

"We're trying to be intentional and thoughtful about the way we serve and communicate with all students," says Toni Woolfork-Barnes, director of the office that was formerly known as First-Year Experience Programs. "Our programming is much broader than the initiatives designed for incoming first-year students who live on campus. We want to affirm the other important roles we play and the range of students we serve."

The office oversees annual New Student Orientation activities, Fall Welcome, First-Year Experience Seminars, Transfer Student Services and the Foundation Scholars Program. The office also provides a comprehensive tool for all incoming students called Plan It 4-Ward that can be used by students throughout their academic careers at WMU.

Woolfork-Barnes says the office will retain the name First-Year Experience Seminar for its signature two-credit transition course for first-year students. That course focuses on providing students with critical campus information and connecting students to University resources that will help them be successful.

The office name change was implemented late last month and already is in use as staff members reach out to incoming students for this summer and fall. The office's new web address office is

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