As the University of Central Florida prepares to welcome nearly 6,000 new transfer students this fall, a national report cites the UCF programs that support them as successful models.

UCF was one of 12 four-year institutions tapped for the College Board report because of its expertise and commitment to transfer students.

The report examines best practices universities and colleges could look to as they serve growing numbers of transfer students.

Many of UCF’s new transfer students will attend one of 10 regional campuses that deliver 21 bachelor’s degree programs, 16 minors and six graduate programs to more than 12,000 students.

“From the moment students indicate they want to transfer to UCF, we work hard to provide them with the resources they need to make a smooth transition and become full-fledged members of our university community,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Tony Waldrop. “The result is that our transfer students perform very well in the classroom on their way to becoming productive contributors to our region’s economy.”

The College Board report highlights how well UCF prepares transfer students for upper-division university courses and campus life through DirectConnect to UCF, a partnership UCF formed more than five years ago with four Central Florida community and state colleges. The DirectConnect program offers guaranteed admission to UCF for all students who complete an associate degree from the four community and state colleges.

Through DirectConnect, academic advisers reach out to students before they step foot on a UCF campus and help them plan for their majors, complete general education requirements and strengthen their writing and math skills. Many UCF advisers have offices on area community and state college campuses and spend most of their time there.

Before classes start, transfer students benefit from orientation programs designed specifically for them. Next week, they will arrive at UCF’s main campus in Orlando and regional campuses ready to hit the ground running. They will join UCF’s diverse student body as marching band members, military veterans or budding researchers.

Once transfer students are on campus, the Transfer & Transition Services office helps to connect them with a variety of important resources, from how to choose a major if they are still undecided to how they can seek career advising on campus.

UCF works closely with regional community and state colleges beyond DirectConnect, the College Board report noted, reaching into the K-12 school systems to better prepare students to enter college.

Through the College Access Initiative, UCF partners with area community and state colleges and high schools to discuss how to best give students access to important educational opportunities in the face of increasing cuts in education spending, an increased number of college-bound students and university selectivity.  One major focus of the initiative is how to best align K-12 and college curricula.

In addition to its own programs, UCF serves transfer students exceptionally well through its strong partnerships with community and state colleges and the State University System of Florida.

Last year, more than 30,000 transfer students went on to four-year state universities through the popular 2+2 Pathways to Success partnership, which admits to a state university students who complete their AA degrees at a Florida community or state college.

More than 30 percent of the state’s students who earn associate’s degrees and transfer to a state university in Florida choose UCF. UCF admitted 5,900 transfer students last fall, and 58 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded by UCF in the 2010-11 school year went to transfer students.