Transitioning to Columbus

Submitted by Samantha Augustine

I am a freshman here at ATI studying Agricultural Communication. I, like many of you, was lucky enough to take College Credit Plus courses while I was in high school. So now, as I finish up my first year here at ATI, I have completed enough degree requirements to be ready to transition to the Columbus campus to earn my bachelor’s degree. As many of you know, ATI only offers associate degree programs, so when you finish your degree, you either enter the workforce or continue your education. If you choose to continue your education it can become very confusing and scary (kind of like that dream where you go to class in your underwear and you have no idea why you did, but everyone is staring at you and you don’t know what to do). Transitioning to Columbus can feel a lot like that, but with my help and the help of ATI we can make this feeling go away.

The very first thing you need to do is meet with your academic advisor at ATI. There they can go over your course schedule and degree pathway to make sure you’re ready to make the transition. You can access your degree pathway online under the Current Students, Academics tab, to see exactly what classes you need to graduate from ATI. This way, along with your advisor, you can double check to make sure you have completed all of the requirements for your major. From there you will meet with ATI transition counselor, Cate Hunko. Cate will go over all the required paperwork and steps to make the transition to Columbus official. As a transitioning student, you are required to meet with Cate to officially enroll at the Columbus campus. Cate works closely with the Columbus campus academic advisors to make the transition as smooth as possible. Cate’s job is to help you make the transition as easy as possible, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Once you have had your meeting with Cate and have signed all the necessary paperwork, the hard part is over.

ATI doesn’t throw their students to the wolves. Instead, they offer many programs to help make the transition less stressful and more enjoyable. In the spring semester, they have a transition day, when students visit the Columbus campus, meet with future advisors, talk to current OSU students who also transitioned from ATI to Columbus, and tour the ag campus. This is another amazing opportunity to ask questions like Is it as scary as people make it seem? Where is the best place to eat? How far is too far to live off campus? What is the number one thing I need to bring with me? There is no such thing as a dumb question so be sure to ask while you can. Note to self: on OSU buses you do not have to signal the bus driver if you need to get off at the next stop because they stop at every stop. Your future self will thank me later, so you’re welcome in advance.

Although it may seem quite scary and overwhelming to go from ATI to Columbus, it’s really not. Just remember ATI wants to help in any way they can, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help as you start the transition journey. It’s not nearly as scary as going to class in your underwear (because we have all had that dream)!

A First Generation Student at ATI

Submitted by Olivia Orf

Heading off to college is a very big deal for every freshman, waiting to jump into the next chapter of their lives. Being a first-generation student is the same thing, plus a lot more stress. Going off to college is a time of a lot of firsts for students, but also a lot for parents if they have never been to college themselves. As the daughter of two parents without college degrees, I had so much to learn about school that many of my peers already knew. My parents couldn’t warn me about the stress or the idea of having roommates. Nor could they advise me on how to properly use the resources the university provides its students.

My parents and me

Ohio State ATI understands first-generation students like no other university. Between the small class sizes, peer tutoring and support, and the student-to-faculty ratio, Ohio State ATI is a great place to get your education started. Student Success Services at ATI is exactly what the name says: a place with resources to help you succeed—and it really does just that. I have personally utilized many forms of peer tutoring, counseling, mentoring, and advising in my first semester at ATI.

This university understands what it is like to not have the same resources that other students might have. This is a large part of why they support and encourage first-generation students. This past autumn, Ohio State ATI held an event for first-generation students. This event gave us the chance to hear from other first-generation students, learn about our work ethic, and hear more about the resources offered here.

The library and many of the staff here at ATI are also extremely supportive of first-generation students and their journeys. The resources they provide include but are not limited to access to all textbooks while you’re in the library, supplies to help with projects and study habits, tips and tricks to study well, and multiple rooms to find your comfort when you’re studying in the library.

All of the people in this photo were recognized in November for being first-generation college students!

We also have many staff members that are first-generations students, including housing coordinator, Mick Steiner; assistant to the director, Michelle Villers; and professor and PhD candidate, Eric Williams. The faculty and staff here at ATI create the atmosphere, they understand the processes that first-generation students have to go through, and they are more than willing to help you personally find your niche in college.

Coming to college as a first-generation student isn’t easy, the path is not always clear, and sometimes the decisions are hard simply because you’re surrounded by people who don’t understand your situation. However, the journey is just as important as the destination. You would not earn the privileges of having a degree if you don’t go through the process. Here at Ohio State ATI, they make that process and that journey just a little bit easier.

Student Experiences and Opportunities

 by Paige Schaffter

When I first stepped into my freshman apartment on Holly Court at Ohio State ATI, I didn’t feel like I was old enough to be in college, let alone actually be starting my college career in two very short days. Fortunately, everything exceeded my expectations and hopes by miles.

Although ATI isn’t as big as the Columbus campus, you’re still getting the entire college experience by being here. There are clubs, campus life, and opportunities to grow as an individual—academically, professionally, and socially. As an ATI student, I have been involved in Community Council, Homecoming Court, Collegiate FFA, Student Activities Council, and the Admissions Ambassador team—just to name a few!

Aside from all the clubs that are available to students on campus, there’s also a ton of activities. If sports are your go-to stress reliever, there are intramural sports for every season. Volleyball, basketball, soccer, dodgeball, and softball are just a few of the teams that have games throughout the year. The Student Activities Center also has a pool table, ping pong, darts, racquetball, badminton, painting, string art, along with other crafts and activities for students across campus.

If sports aren’t your forte, Residence Life is right up your alley. Residence Life tailors specifically to students who live on campus and their well-being and entertainment. Community Council organizes numerous events throughout the year that students can enjoy, ranging from a field trip to a trampoline park, complete with a Raising Cane’s dinner, to ATI’s annual Homecoming and Bull Bash dances. Additionally, the Resident Advisors on campus host a variety of educational and fun programs for students during the week and on the weekends.

During the week, educational programs with professors include stress management, horticulture education, cultural diversity across the state of Ohio and Midwest United States, and many more. On the weekends, you can find students eating snacks and watching the Buckeyes football game on the projector in the Community Room, playing Farming Simulator, or painting pumpkins and ornaments for holidays. Also, no RA program or campus event is complete without food, so if you’re hungry (for knowledge and food), there’s always a program you can attend to ease that hunger.

One of my favorite things about being a student at Ohio State ATI is being a Buckeye! As Buckeyes, ATI students are able to purchase tickets to football, basketball, and other sporting events for extremely discounted prices, and get to sit in the student section with other students. Even though you’ll have to travel to Columbus for game day, the experience is unlike any other. As a student ticketholder, I watched Ohio State beat Penn State 39-38 in 2017, crush That Team Up North 62-39 in 2018, and I sat in section AA, ten feet from the football field for the 2018 Homecoming game against Indiana! All of these incredible game day experiences happened sitting next to some of my best friends, surrounded by crazy Ohio State fans and students like me, creating memories of a lifetime. Buckeye born, Buckeye raised, a Buckeye fan for all the days.

So as you’re selecting your university and campus, don’t dismiss Ohio State ATI, and certainly don’t sell yourself short on memories, friends, and opportunities to have the time of your life. A friend of mine once said that college was the best four years of their life, and I have to agree with them. Nothing beats living on a campus with students who are just as involved, passionate, and crazy about agriculture and the Buckeyes as you are.


Here are a few of the campus activities I have participated in:

  • Homecoming Court
    • Family Day
    • Announcement at the Homecoming Dance
    • Coronation at the OSU Columbus campus, complete with parade in Columbus and meeting President Drake
    • OSU Tailgate and introduced at the Skull Session and on the field prior to the game
    • AA Deck seats at the game
  • Community Council
    • Plan Homecoming week’s Bull Bash
    • Helping plan SpringFest
    • Year-round activities
    • Up All Night overnight event for admitted students
  • CFFA
    • Farmer-to-Farmer Fund
    • Ornament making and selling
    • Professional development
    • People to People
    • Community service
  • Student Activities Council
    • Event planning
    • Leadership development
  • SpringFest
    • Spring semester activities prior to finals