The road from community college to university is a bumpy one, as many transfer students experience firsthand. Some may feel a greater challenge in adjusting to a new school, while others realize the actual process of getting there is full of hurdles.
Requirements for a major at a community college can vary drastically from requirements at a CSU or UC. Many students find themselves with several classes or units that do not transfer over or do not qualify for the same major. Students can be put back quarters, semesters, even years.
A lack of counseling and indecisiveness plays a role. The former should be addressed by simply being proactive. The latter is expected of students trying to find their particular niche. Switches from major to major include the reality that it may not be possible to finish in four years. Five is the new four, anyway.
With a little research and planning, students can make the process easier for themselves. The good news is that there have already been reform efforts to make the transition easier.
For certain community colleges and universities, there are agreements designed to spell out the requirements necessary to transfer to that specific school. Officials from each school and the student sign an agreement listing the necessary classes, GPA and any special requirements needed to transfer.
Not all institutions, however, use this arrangement. The process should be more seamless and should provide a focus on the student’s goals instead of catches in the system.
A standardized system between universities and community colleges would be ideal. Some institutions are already working on it, and may aim to follow suit with other states that already have standardized transfer agreements. These contracts make the challenges not as bad as they could be, given students follow the rules.
If the rate of successful transfers to UC and CSU schools increases, the total number of college graduates will as well. Without a heap of extra classes to take, students will be able to get out of school and into employment.