For many students, attending community college is a good way to begin their college career. While attending community college, you can complete your pre-requisite classes and core courses for a reasonable price. It also provides you the opportunity to explore a major before committing to a four-year program. After finishing community college, the next step for some students is transferring to a four-year school.
The following steps to ensure a smooth transfer come from Collegeboard.com:
- Learn all you can about the transfer program
- Check if your credits are 'transferable'
- Talk with a counselor at your community college
- Learn about the colleges 'articulation agreements'
Learn About the Transfer Program:
All transfer programs do the same thing: prepare you to enter upper division college as a junior. Those at www.collegeboard.com note that transfer programs generally consist of three types of classes:
- General Education Courses
- Major Required Course
When learning about the transfer program at your community college, you will probably find out at least two things: upon completion of the transfer program you will either have an associate's degree or you won't. Even if your school doesn't award associate's degrees, the requirements you met will still transfer to some four-year schools. The question remains, do you want that piece of paper or not? What if you get accepted at the university of your choice and decide you don't want to pursue a four-year degree? These are questions you need to ask yourself and discuss with your advisor.
Check if Your credits are 'Transferable:'
To make sure your credits are 'transferable,' you need to choose the four-year college/colleges that you want to transfer to. Whatever college you choose to attend (preferably the one where more of your credits are accepted), you need to contact that school's college transfer program. It may be located on the school's website or you may have to call admissions. Find out ahead of time so you can plan your community college classes accordingly.
Talk With a Counselor at Your Community College:
A face-to-face conversation with someone familiar with the way transfers are conducted is a good idea too. College counselors at your community college can help you meet your community college's graduation requirements and prepare for transfer -- with maximum credit -- into the college and major of your choice.
Even though the catalog may say the credit for a certain class transfers to another school, set up an appointment with an advisor and stay in contact with him or her throughout your time at the community college. If you know you're going to transfer, it's a good idea to meet with your advisor before you register for your first semester course.
Learn About the Colleges 'Articulation Agreements'
College articulation agreements are designed to help you. According to the experts at collegeboard.com, articulation agreements state policies regarding transferring and make it easier for you to transfer. Take note of your school's articulation agreements with other schools. For more information on articulation agreements, see the article titled College Transfer FAQs: What are College Articulation Agreements?