As transfer season falls upon American River College, many students will consider all of their campus options. Although transferring to a new college can be a highly rewarding and exciting time in a student’s life, it can also be stressful.
I’m currently in the midst of transferring out of ARC and I had assumed that the process would be quick and straightforward but I was mistaken.
It is easy to Google college campuses and fall in love with one solely off of the campus beauty but there are a lot of important factors to consider before making the final decision.
The deadline to apply to California State University and University of California campuses for the fall 2019 semester is Nov. 30.
Picking a school that has the program for your specific major is the most crucial step before sending out applications.
Prior to meeting with a counselor I was under the impression that all college campuses offered the same programs for every major but that is far from correct.
Every college website has a page dedicated to all the majors offered at that specific campus.
Communications major Abby Fulton says she picked a college to transfer to based on her major and on her sport.
“I’m going to play water polo, and I found a school that adopted to my major and my sport,” Fulton said. “I want to major in communications and minor in nutrition and [the] University of the Pacific has both of those programs.”
Declaring a major is also an important first step at any community college. From there, students can begin taking courses at their junior college and accumulating 60 transferable units.
Although self-exploration can be great, deciding on a major and sticking with that major is one way to shorten the amount of time spent at community college.
Rafael Rivera, a general counselor at ARC, says students should be prepared far before transfer season arrives.
“Students should be well-prepared to make the final decisions long before that application is due, [their] 60 units should be complete, and a major should’ve been chosen,” Rivera said.
Students should also consider if their major is impacted, meaning that there are more students wanting to declare that major than the school can actually accommodate.
Major impaction can make certain schools a bit more challenging to be admitted to but it is still worth applying.
I strongly recommend taking the time to meet with one of ARC’s many counselors at the beginning of the process. Ask them how your credits will align with your desired school’s curriculum.
Ask detailed questions about their transfer policies and if there are any online tools you can use to look up how specific courses will fit into your intended major.
“Ask as many questions as you can so nothing comes as a surprise when you are applying,” Rivera said.
Transferring out of community college is a big deal, a big investment, and a big step in many student’s life. Make sure you are asking the right questions and taking advantage of the resources around campus.
For more information, students can visit the Transfer Center located in the Counseling Center.