It was all pretty exciting. Two years had gone by at community college and I was ready to transfer to a university in Chicago. I had planned for this since leaving high school. Go to community college, save a boatload of money, and then transfer out to a university after two years. It’s the same route a lot of other students take all over the country. Community college is really becoming a more and more popular option.
So then came the time to submit my transcript over to the university. All it took was a quick stop to the registrar’s office, and off my transcript went. After completing the transfer application for the university, I waited. It took a week or so, but the beloved email finally made its way to my inbox. A nice pretty picture of the campus and in big bold letters, “Welcome!”. It was a great feeling because two years of hard work led up to this moment. Now it was time to plan the next two years. So I signed up for the orientation and booked an appointment with my new counselor.
A new building, a new counselor’s office, and in the city of Chicago. I was enjoying university life already. Right off the bat we started talking about all the courses I had transferred in, or as she put it, “all but three”. After seeing the puzzled look on my face, she continued to explain. What had happened was that three of my general education courses that I took at community college weren’t equivalent at the university. They didn’t transfer over.
So what did I learn from my transfer experience? Don’t just plan ahead with your community college counselor, plan ahead with a counselor from that university you want to go to as well. At the end of the day a community college counselor is a great resource, but you will only be spending 15 minutes with them at a time. Not only that, community college counselors don’t know it all. When they are helping you, they’re using online resources and tools given to them. With a 400:1 counselor to student ratio (at least in Illinois) there’s always room for error. When planning out your four-year path from a community college to a university, here are some tips:
- Talk to your community college counselor and to a counselor from that university you want to go to.
- Plan ahead
- Don’t just go semester by semester, really work it out and plan for your whole two years at community college.
- Understand your university’s general education requirements
- Every university is different. All of them also have different general education requirements. Take some time and break it all down for the university you want to go to.
- Plan smart
- Don’t load up one semester with all the tough courses, spread it out over the 2 years you’ll be spending at community college.
Best of luck,
I’m a computer science student at DePaul University in Chicago (the best city ever). I also decided to be crazy enough to tackle the transfer process between community colleges and universities. Transferring was something I struggled with personally, because I was also a community college student. So I had the idea to change it. With the help of three friends, that idea today is a company. It’s crazy and fun all together. We live in this age where we can build things and start things without anybody’s permission. All it takes is a vision and hard work. So I challenge you (yes you, who’s reading this bio) to dare and think different. Go start things. Make things. Even the smallest ideas can have the biggest impact.