ESIA to accept transfers

Students will be able to transfer into the Elliott School of International Affairs next semester following a temporary freeze on intra-University transfers this spring. The Elliott School will also add transfer requirements for students who enroll at GW in the fall.

Increasing undergraduate enrollments in the Elliott School last semester prompted administrators to halt internal transfers this semester while they evaluated the school’s resources. Last fall, 500 freshmen enrolled, exceeding administrators’ expectations by 50 students, said Hugh Agnew, ESIA associate dean for academic programs.

“ESIA suspended transfers while studying the impact of transfers on the general question of how to deal with the pressure of rising enrollments,” Agnew said.

Students currently enrolled at GW will need a minimum 2.0 grade point average and be in good academic standing to transfer into ESIA next semester.

However, beginning with incoming students this fall, officials will implement a stricter set of rules for intra-University transfers. Adding requirements will allow the Elliott School to better manage the number of students in the school, Agnew said.

If incoming students want to transfer into the Elliott School after they enroll at GW, they must complete 24 credit hours at GW and have a GPA of 3.0 or better. Students must also take four out of six suggested courses, and have completed or waived the first year of foreign language requirements.

The change in requirements reflects ESIA’s desire to accommodate students who “commit to applying for admission to the Elliott School from day one,” Agnew said.

In addition to the internal transfer policy, the creation of a new research center and a third associate dean are part of ESIA’s efforts to “improve planning and coordination as the number of its students, faculty, academic programs, research activities and public events continues to grow,” according to an ESIA press release.

The new associate dean for management and planning is responsible for organizing ESIA budgets, revenue and student enrollments. The school’s new research center, The Institute for International Studies, “will serve as an intellectual home for Elliott School faculty, whose interests lie outside the scope of the school’s three existing scholarly centers,” according to the release.

“We feel that with this reorganization we will be in a better position to do things like forecast curricular needs of our programs on a longer time horizon, which will also allow us to prepare for curricular, faculty and budgetary issues that need resolving in order to deal with them,” Agnew said.

Some ESIA professors said they favored the transfer policy and the higher academic standards it will demand of students.

“The Elliott School is the flagship of GW and we’re trying to maintain that,” said Michael Sodaro, a political science and international affairs professor.

Agnew said ESIA fielded a number of student complaints following the freeze on internal transfers, but that “once the reasons behind the suspension were explained we were generally pleased by the understanding with which our policies were received.”

“Once you get here you’re immersed in this political city, and if you come here without a major and then you realize international affairs is what you want to do, you’re penalized for being indecisive,” freshman Dolly Donnelly said.

Table:

Requirements for transferring into the Elliott School of International Affairs next semester:

Current students:
*Minimum 2.0 grade point average
*Good academic standing

Students who enroll at GW in the fall:
*Complete 24 credit hours at GW
*Minimum 3.0 grade point average
*Take four out of six suggested courses
*Complete or waive first year of foreign language requirement

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