Transfer From a Community College in 2 Years
Meet With a College Counselor
The most important thing you can do coming into a community college, from high school or from a long break, is to meet with an academic counselor. Many students undervalue the importance of meeting with a counselor when they first go into a community college and find themselves indecisive and lost about which classes to take and what to major in. A counselor can introduce you to various programs on campus organized to help you transfer. Most importantly, community college counselors have been through the transfer process before! They are the experts in the transfer process and can provide you with guidance throughout the confusing process, if you allow them to.
Choosing From College Majors
One of the reasons why many students end up staying at a community college for several years is because they keep changing their majors. Because every major has different prerequisites that different colleges require, changing your major multiple times will require you to stay at your community college longer to fulfill new prerequisites. If you are a psychology major, for example, you will probably take different courses that relate to psychology to fulfill your prerequisites for that major. If you suddenly wanted to change your major to business after a year, the psychology courses that you took for a year would be useless since business majors require different courses. Thus, this would prolong your time at a university.
So, if you know what you want to major in, go for it. If you don’t, work with your counselor and pick courses that interest you which also satisfy a general education course requirement. Taking courses that interest you will help you figure out what you may potentially want to major in. The key here is to take the time to figure out what you want to major in and then, stick with it.
Choose Your Schools Wisely
Once you figure out what you want to major in, research which schools may offer a good program for your major. It is important to research the different schools you are interested in because different schools may offer very different programs for each major. If you wanted to be an architect, for example, you may want to attend Cal Poly SLO over UC Berkeley. Why? Even though UC Berkeley is known for its academic excellence, it only offers a four year Bachelor of Arts degree in architecture. A four year Bachelor of Arts degree in architecture is only pre-professional. You would have to go to graduate school to become a registered architect. Cal Poly, on the other hand, offers an intensive 5 year program where you earn your Bachelor of Architecture degree. A Bachelor of Architecture degree is a professional degree which would make you immediately eligible to take architecture licensing exams. Because of the very different programs different schools may offer for the same major, prerequisites may also be different. Thus, choosing your schools in advance may help you plan your classes in a more efficient way.
Make a Student Education Plan
A student education plan (SEP) is a personal roadmap of the different classes you will need to take each semester to meet your educational goals. It is important to work with your counselor to make an SEP because organizing a list of the different classes you need to take for the various schools you plan on applying to can be tricky. Not all classes, for example, are offered every semester. Making an SEP with your counselor can also help you reduce your transfer sooner. Most UCs and CSUs, for example, allow community college transfers to fulfill a general education requirement with a perquisite. As an expert in the transfer process, your counselor can help you plan an SEP that fulfills your general education requirements and your major prerequisites with the fewest classes possible. Working with your counselor to create and follow an SEP will ensure that you transfer as soon as possible.
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