Reverse Transfer Student Gets New Start At RVC

Like many college students, Audra Ettelbrick was at a four-year university when COVID was in full swing. In the spring of 2021, this education major and Rockford native decided to transfer to RVC, and she has not looked back.

“I chose to transfer because the university I was at was not the right fit for me academically or economically. Transferring to RVC is not as common as transferring from RVC, but I am very happy I decided to come here,” said Audra. 

Here at RVC, Audra is pursuing an Associate of Arts Degree with her sights set on graduating in summer 2022. According to her, “Getting my Associate’s degree has allowed me to fill many requirements for the university I am planning on transferring to, and I’ve been able to take classes in a broad range of subjects.”  She notes that one of the benefits of transferring from RVC is that many Illinois universities consider your general education requirements complete when students transfer in with an associate degree.

The path has not always been clear for Audra. She credits the academic advising team for helping her navigate RVC. “When I transferred here, I felt lost, confused, and unsure of what my next step even was. Even before the first day of classes, I was able to meet with several advisors and talk about what courses to take and my educational goals.”

Several semesters into her RVC journey, she continues to meet with her advisor. “They are a wonderful group of people that help keep you on track.”

And keeping on track is important to students like Audra. COVID-19 has posed many challenges for college students, including adjusting to online classes or finding a school-work-life balance.

Audra agrees with this. “Adjusting to online classes was not easy, but now, I really enjoy taking a mix of face-to-face and online courses. As a student worker here at RVC, time management between work and classes has been a balancing act. Overall, when I do come across challenges in college (which ALL students will), the support I’ve needed has been available here.”

Her time at RVC is winding down, but that doesn’t mean Audra is slowing down.

When she is not in class, Audra can be found in either the First Year Experience Office, where she serves as a Peer Mentor, or at one of her favorite spots on campus – the creekside window desks on the first floor of the library. She enjoys being involved in groups like Phi Theta Kappa (Omicron Eta Chapter). “Being a part of Phi Theta Kappa is an opportunity I never would’ve had at a four-year university, and it has given me a lot of great scholarship options for transferring,” exclaimed Audra.

Soon, Audra will join the RVC network of alumni and will transfer to a university for the next leg of her journey. She has this advice for future Golden Eagles:

“The “college experience” built up in high school is largely a myth. It may happen for some people, but if you come to RVC, you will learn there are college students from all walks of life. Do not be afraid of judgment. Also, work hard in your classes, and you may be surprised what opportunities open up for you.”