This past May, Katie Collette replaced Emily Kelly as the new admissions counselor for University of Dallas transfer students.
Collette is excited about her job and believes it to be the perfect fit for her, especially considering her own experiences as a student.
Collette began her higher education at a two-year junior college with a full ride softball scholarship. After an injury during her second year that prevented her from playing, she was forced to transfer to the University of Oklahoma. Due to some credits not transferring, Collette was essentially set back half a year, even after meeting with the administration. Additionally, Collette had to take 12 credit hours one summer to compensate for credits that the university refused to accept.
Collette began college with the intention of going into the medical field, but decided instead to work toward a Bachelor of Science in social health. After graduating in 2014, Collette went on to earn a master’s of education in adult and higher education.
While in grad school, Collette was offered a graduate assistantship with a professor working in the department of adult higher education. When encouraged to research something meaningful related to an experience she had gone through herself, Collette chose to study transfer students.
After receiving her master’s degree in 2017, Collette worked as an intern for student athletes in the academic department at St. Mary’s University.
One day, Collette saw UD’s online job offer for a transfer counselor and immediately knew the position was right for her.
“It’s perfect,” she said. “It is a work close to my heart, as I know how difficult the transfer process can be. I can utilize both personal experience and research. Also, being from a small town, the close-knit community here at UD feels like home.”
Collette acts as both an admissions counselor and academic advisor for transfer students. She advises students on the courses they should take and helps make their transition as smooth as possible. She works closely with the deans of Constantin College, Dr. Sally Hicks and Dr. David Andrews, as well as the degree plan advisor, Kay Haaser, in order to discuss the syllabi from the schools formerly attended by transfer students to determine which credits will transfer.
“Katie helped make my transition to UD seamless,” said transfer student Belynn Hollers.
Collette also travels throughout Dallas, Houston and Waco to actively recruit transfer students in the area.
“The general spirit out there is that it’s very hard to transfer to UD,” Collette said. “We want the unique UD experience to be an option for transfer students. We want to bring in more independent and passionate students.”
Collette has found transfer students in general to be more independent, passionate and driven than typical students who start out and stay at their first university choice. Transfer students know where they really want to go and they must overcome great challenges and setbacks to get there. Collette views transfer students as an asset to the UD community.
“At UD, transfer students really bring in a different culture and insight,” Collette said. “These students are often very good at standing for themselves and communicating well.”
The university aims at extending its reach to transfer students, if only to let them know that the transfer to UD isn’t impossible. The goal is to ultimately bring in at least fifty new transfer students next fall. Collette will certainly play a lead role in this endeavor.