Dartmouth College Transfer Term Policy
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It has recently been publicized that there has been a change in the Transfer Term policy, namely that no more than 5 students may participate in the same program during the same term.
The major concern we have regarding this new rule is the lack of advanced notice on the part of the administration. Many students, especially current sophomores, have planned their D-Plans around pursuing transfer programs during their winter terms. This policy change will not only discourage students from wanting to follow through with their original plans but also bar many students who seek to apply to the same program from being accepted. Earlier notice would have given these students the time to apply to FSPs, LSAs, and internships. We have been caught completely off guard by this new rule and now must rush to make arrangements for the upcoming term.
While we are only requesting that this new policy is postponed, we have legitimate reasons for its elimination. Dartmouth prides itself in its study abroad participation, which we can heartily assert is at the top of the Ivy League. Transfer programs offer a wonderful alternative for students who want to immerse themselves in a completely foreign environment but do not take a language or are not interested in a department that offers an LSA/FSP.
We acknowledge that the College has reasonable safety concerns for students studying abroad in non-Dartmouth-affiliated transfer programs. However, we strongly hold that there is strength in numbers; twenty Dartmouth students attending the same program will be much safer individually than a mere five.
We also acknowledge that some of these programs are less legitimate than others. It is difficult to evaluate the efficacy of transfer programs for which Dartmouth College has no control. This may perhaps be resolved by a more discerning evaluation of each class’s syllabus or a removal of programs with a history of unsuitably easy classes. Education is our top priority, but many transfer programs offer students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to a foreign country and experience an entirely new educational environment. Obtaining credit from these programs allows us to use our leave terms for jobs and other travel opportunities.
In summary, we urge that you put this policy in to effect at a later date, giving students ample time to revise their D-Plan if necessary. We also hope that you revaluate this new rule that functions to discourage students from pursuing transfer programs.
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