Graphic by Jared Shapiro
The University’s recent decision to transform the school of Management into the College of Management has resulted in a number of changes, including a lack of internal transfer students. This is “a decision that was made in the interest of fostering increased academic engagement in other areas of the University,” said Dean Raquel Alexander, the University’s Inaugural Dean of Management.
In the past, the School of Management has accepted between 20-30 transfer applicants. Prospective management students had the opportunity to submit their applications after completing their first year and would receive their acceptance or denial over the summer. However, according to Alexander, “As President [John] Bravman, Provost [Barbara] Altmann, and others have previously explained, moving forward there will be few, if any, opportunities for current students to transfer into the College of Management.”
This policy is similar to the existing transfer policy for the University’s College of Engineering. Internal applicants are accepted on “a very limited basis,” College of Engineering Dean Patrick Mather said. This is largely due to the college’s curriculum, which is guided by their Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET) curriculum, according to Mather.
Civil Engineer, Luke Summers ’20 added, “I think this is beneficial to engineering students because it is a very challenging track to take. The smaller numbers means more attention on the individual rather than the entire group.”
Students desiring to transfer into the College of Engineering must have completed the prerequisite courses, be able to graduate within eight semesters at the University, and demonstrate the ability to succeed in future engineering courses.
Kyle Inlander ’20 said he understands the University’s decision to also limit internal applicants into the College of Management. “I believe that, in the eyes of the University, creating a new ‘College’ constitutes a higher level of exclusivity and with that, higher standards in terms of admissions.”
However, being a previous student of the College of Arts & Sciences and a current management student, Inlander said, “I feel that it is important that the college still allows internal transfers. Bucknell is a community that promotes intellectual freedom and diversity as a liberal arts institution. With that, should come the option to change one’s major.”
Managing for Sustainability student Mary Brigid Coughlan ’18, who applied directly into the School of Management, said, “People who are in the College of Management truly wanted to be there from the beginning. They had grades and credentials to not only get into Bucknell, but the individual college as well. I think that this will make for a really prestigious incoming class.”
Global management student Emily Nocera ’18 started in the College of Arts and Sciences because she thought it would offer her a wide selection of courses, which would in turn lead her to her major. However, none of the courses she took resonated with her, motivating her to transfer to the School of Management.
“It was one of the best decisions I have at Bucknell, and I almost feel sorry for the incoming freshmen that are placed into a pre-determined box. In my opinion, deciding on a major is too big of a decision for an early high school senior and binding them to their decision just doesn’t seem fair,” Nocera said.
Hayley Pogue ’20 has “mixed feelings” about the limits of internal transfer students.
“I wasn’t admitted [to the School of Management] as a freshman but remained optimistic I could get admitted as a sophomore, so I committed to Bucknell for water polo with that in mind,” said Pogue.
“If transferring as a sophomore wasn’t an option available to me, I’m not sure I would have been as eager to commit. Luckily, in my situation, it worked out,” she said.
Camille Sommerfield ’20, who recently transitioned into the College of Management this year, expressed her disappointment with the decision to limit the opportunities of internal transfers, stating, “It was really great that I had the opportunity to experiment with different subjects before finally transitioning into the College of Management. I understand what it’s like to be unsure of what to major in, and [need] some time to hone your interests.”
Marissa Mancuso ’18 said, “When I came to Bucknell as a freshman, I had no idea what I wanted to do, and the ability to transfer into the School of Management sophomore year opened up so many doors for me. My Bucknell experience would have been so different without the School of Management.”
The College of Management will accept more first-years directly into the program, according to Alexander. This is in contingency with the University’s Board of Trustees’ decision to increase the Class of 2022’s student body by 200 students. All University students will still be eligible to take courses in the College of Management.