One reason high school students chose to go to community college is to transfer to a four-year university. The reasoning is logical and proven. After going to community college, students who transfer to four-year universities normally only need two or three years there to earn their bachelor's degrees, and often get to skip the basic courses in the process. While this is certainly a proven method, it requires proper planning and consideration to make it successful. Here are some things students should keep in mind when debating whether or not to go down the community college path:
Start early. The time to start thinking about attending community college with the goal of transferring isn't after your application to your favorite universities has been denied. You should be thinking about the process as early as the end of your junior year. By then, you should have a pretty good account on your academic standing and potential paths down the road. The last thing you want to is wait until it's too late.
- Do your research. Look ahead to see if everything--grades, finances, requirements and other socioeconomic factors--is in place to complete your plan (or start it). Some community colleges have an articulation agreement (meaning, a special transfer relationship) with a four-year university. If that university is one you want to attend, it would be wise to consider going to that community college
- Ask questions. Don't do this by yourself. There are several areas of support and answer for you in this process. Talk to your high school counselor. Talk to the admissions office at the community college and the transfer office at the four-year university. Talk to students who have successfully completed the process. In addition, there are several online resources, including some listed below, to help guide you through the transfer process. You don't want to miss anything critical just because you were ignorant.
- Keep track of requirements. If you decide to go the community college route, you want to make sure you're doing it correctly. Make sure the courses you take during your senior are relevant to what you want to do in college. Specific courses can help students skip semesters at universities. Even as you're going through your time in community college, be sure to keep track of what you've completed. You don't want to waste any time.
- Stay the course. Going to community college is the longer route. Because of this, the time can discourage students from completing their goals. Sticking to the path you've laid out for yourself is often the hardest part of this whole process. You cannot get distracted from completing your goal. Trust yourself and the research you've done. You're on the path to success. Though your path may be a bit longer, the destination remains the same.
If you remember this information and follow these tips, the transfer process will be a lot easier. In addition to the information above, there are several online resources to help you out through the process. Click the following links for additional information about transferring to UC and CSU schools. General information about the transfer process can be found at the ASSIST website.