By Adam Case | The Broadside (Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Here at Central Oregon Community College, many traditional students plan on transferring to a four year university once their time here is done.
However, many students struggle when preparing for the transition, and they can make some critical mistakes which cost them dearly. Dr. Andria Woodell, Psychology Professor at COCC, offered some guidance for moving beyond our campus to continue education.
According to Woodell, Students should begin being mindful of transferring as soon as they begin taking classes at COCC. While students don’t need to be certain of their major or future school right away, it’s a good idea to discover these things sooner than later. Changing majors later on down the line can result in wasting classes you’ve already taken, and the money spent on them. Deciding your future school will allow you to begin taking classes to meet the specific requirements of that school in advance.
Every university requires different supporting courses for every program. So, fulfilling the basic associate of arts or associate of science transfer degree may not be enough to secure your transfer. Failure to meet school-specific program requirements can allow the school to review your transcript class by class to decide which credits are transferable and which are not instead of having to accept your transfer degree in its entirety. To ensure your time and money are being used to their best ability, settle your options for university and major ahead of time.
Students in their second year at COCC should begin applying to their chosen colleges immediately, as most schools application deadlines for fall term is in February. Many schools also have application fees of $50.
Students may have to budget out how many schools they can apply to. When deciding which schools to apply to, students will need to reflect on their own personalities and needs, for example: schools size. Many students would feel more comfortable in the anonymity of a larger campus, while some would need the intimacy of small classes.
Those interested in furthering their education into graduate programs have even more to consider at this point in their education. Such programs are competitive and require recommendation letters from credible academic sources. In order to have quality, personal reports of merit, students need to get involved in their schools and communities even more so.
Participation in clubs, community service, leadership, internships and other means of engagement will improve an academic resume and increase chances of acceptance.
Former COCC students at other universities report feeling prepared academically, but being behind in more practical areas. Students found themselves having difficulties managing their financial and personal lives and struggling to navigate through college systems. COCC offers advising and many other resources to help students move through the education process, and many others schools do not provide as much guidance. This can leave many transfer students, as said by Woodell, “shoved into a pool without floaties.”
The biggest suggestion for transferring from COCC is to begin taking initiative and developing independence. This involves taking opportunities, making decisions and investigating options on your own. Most necessary resources and information are easily accessed online in order to start your transfer process.. Taking on an extra workload now and being proactive will be rewarding after moving beyond COCC.
For more information and guidance on transferring to a four year university, contact your advisor. You can find out who your advisor is by accessing your Bobcat account at cocc.edu. ■