Wheelock College students planning to transition to Boston University in the merger between the two schools will attend Wheelock Transition Information Day this Saturday to learn about life at BU and the merger’s implications for them.
In an email to students last October, BU Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore wrote that the goal of Wheelock Transition Information Day is to ensure that “each and every Wheelock student has a clear academic path going forward.”
Katherine Cornetta, BU’s assistant to the Dean of Students, said Wheelock students attending the event will receive an orientation session from Elmore and Provost Jean Morrison at the George Sherman Union. They will also receive information on how to continue their field of study at BU.
“They’ve been told what school or college their major at Wheelock falls into here at BU,” Cornetta said. “They will later hear about student activities. They’ll hear about community service. They’ll hear about living on campus [and] what we do for student health here.”
Alexandra Smith, Wheelock’s director of communications and media relations, said participating students will hear about student life, academic advising and receive BU ID cards.
“All Wheelock students who choose to transition to BU will become BU students on June 1, 2018, when the merger takes place,” Smith wrote. “Students of course have the liberty to choose not to transition to BU, for instance if they instead choose to transfer to another institution.”
Cornetta said some students are choosing not to transfer to BU due to its large student body. BU has 16,239 enrolled undergraduate students, while Wheelock has just 726.
“Some students chose Wheelock because it was small or they had a certain program or a certain professor they wanted to work with,” Cornetta said.
Cornetta added that transitioning students have been asking for multiple orientation sessions, and that this is the first time they have come to BU.
“Dean Elmore has come to their campus, and he’ll do so a few more times to talk to students, [but] this is an opportunity to bring them over to BU,” Cornetta said.
Several transitioning Wheelock students said the process has been exciting but complicated, because not all majors correlate directly from Wheelock to BU.
Sheila Eadf, a Wheelock junior, said some of her friends are upset about the merger because they will not be able to pursue their major at BU.
“It kind of sucks because we were promised that everyone would be able to come in and stay with their majors, and now people are afraid they’ll have to change their majors and everything,” Eadf said.
Colin Marie, a Wheelock junior, said he is not sure if he will be able to pursue one of his two majors at BU.
“I’m a double major,” Marie said. “A counseling psych major and a [political science] major. So, all I know for sure is that poli sci is there, but I’m not sure where counseling is, so I have no idea what is going on with my majors.”
Marie said he thinks neither Wheelock nor BU has provided adequate information to students throughout the merger. He added that he thinks juniors have been left without a choice but to transition to BU.
“I know a lot of sophomores now that are planning on transferring [somewhere else] because they didn’t want to go to a bigger school, and wanted a smaller school,” Marie said. “A lot of the juniors — we can’t do that — unless we want to do two to three more years for a bachelor’s.”
Brody Niemann, also a Wheelock junior, believes BU will provide him a better education for his communications degree.
“I’m excited because it’s just a better degree,” Niemann said. BU is a good school. I think [Information Day] is going to help a lot because I think all of us are looking to get all the information we need. I hope to get as much information as possible.”