Bama Transfers Provides Invaluable Transitional Tools

Adjusting to college life can be one of the biggest transitions one can face. But transfer students at UA have an outlet that provides guidance and community and is led by someone who can relate to their experience.

Like many UA students, Dre Vaden’s introduction to The University of Alabama came through Crimson Tide football. Although she grew up in west Texas and was a fan of Texas Tech University, her dad was a huge Alabama fan.

Unsure of what major to pursue in college, Vaden chose to attend cosmetology school. After receiving her cosmetology license and working in a salon in Austin, she still felt the need to further her education.

“Coming from two parents who were educators, attending college was always something I felt I needed to accomplish,” Vaden said.

Vaden says her love for UA grew as the Crimson Tide played Texas for the national championship in 2009. That love developed into an interest in attending UA and she soon started taking classes at Austin Community College with the goal of transferring to the Capstone.

Dre Vaden and Big Al during her Bama Bound visit

“What sold me on UA was how much it felt like home,” Vaden said. “I felt so excited about getting to attend UA and being able to earn my degree from a place my dad had always loved.”

Once on campus, Vaden made friends during Bama Bound but didn’t feel like she could connect with other transfer students.

“I was a non-traditional college student and was a few years older than those in my courses,” Vaden said. “During my time as a transfer student, I didn’t feel that I could be as involved as the other students here, which wasn’t the case at all.

“I did not realize Bama Transfers, a community for transfer students to meet, existed at the time.”

Vaden earned her degree in human development family studies in December 2019. In January, she started her new role at UA as program manager for student engagement transfer initiatives with the Capstone Center for Student Success. In her role, she leads efforts for Bama Transfers and engages with transfer students to help with the transition to life at UA.

“I wish I had someone in the position and role I am in now who could have pushed me to be more involved,” Vaden said. “Overall, I just want to be able to give back to this community of students who mean so much to me since I was a transfer student myself.”

A headshot of Dre Vaden

According to Vaden, Bama Transfers offers mentors to transfer students to help navigate this new phase as a college student. She hopes to continue to build more programming to better serve transfer students and make the transition as seamless as possible.  

“I am here to support transfer students during their time here at UA, so they do not have to try to navigate this campus alone,” Vaden said. “If you are a transfer student looking to find a community here, get involved with Bama Transfers, because we would love to have you.”