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SMU offers transfer students special course to ease transition

February 13, 2013

DALLAS (SMU) – Students who transfer to SMU after beginning their college experience on another campus will have the opportunity to take a class in fall 2013 designed for a smoother transition.

Prospective students attending Mustang Stampede, SMU’s annual open house for transfer students Saturday, Feb. 16, will learn about ORACLE, which stands for Optimum Reading, Attention, Comprehension, Learning Efficiency.  Students enrolled in the ORACLE class meet twice a week and earn a one-hour credit that can be applied to any degree program as an elective.

The class is a pilot project made possible by a donation from a family whose daughter transferred to SMU, and will be available to the first 23 transfer students who sign up for it. 

The ORACLE class at SMU is primarily designed to strengthen reading and studying skills, including:

  • An approach to studying that builds on individual learning styles and strengths
  • Time-management skills that will help reach academic goals with time left for everything else
  • Strategies for reading faster with deeper comprehension
  • Techniques for improving concentration and memory
  • A system for taking and using class notes
  • Test preparation procedures and test-taking strategies to help students learn, recall and apply what they’ve learned
  • Methods for organizing desk, notebooks and planners

Transfer students make up a significant portion of SMU’s undergraduate studentpopulation – about 900 of SMU’s approximately 6,500 undergraduate students come to SMU after previously attending a community college or another university.

“This ORACLE class is geared specifically for transfer students,” said Nancy Skochdopole, SMU director of Transfer and Transition Services.  “What we like to say about a transfer student is we know they’re not new to college, but they’re new to SMU.

“For the students who sign up for the ORACLE class, it could be tremendously significant as they transition to what will probably be a more rigorous curriculum at SMU,” Skochdopolesaid.  “And it will help them find a group and make friends with other students who are transitioning to SMU.”

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