Don't Transfer The Guilt

The stigma associated with community college has led many people to disregard their scholarly priorities and pass through school as mindless bodies just waiting until "the real college experience" begins.

"The real college experience" is more so a myth than the alleged "two-year transfer" myth.  Your counselor should not be walking you through each step of your application process.

After speaking to your fellow students, you may realize that there is a sense of resentment towards the counselors; some may even say betrayal.  You hear your classmate saying, "I was told I could transfer after two years.  It has been four years and I am still here."

Surprise, surprise, they probably didn't start off on the best foot if they are still here after four years.

It is understandable if you are financially independent and school has to be a second priority or if you are caring for a family and have to no time for school. 

There are certain situations that can hinder your potential to further your education in a timely matter.  Things happen. However, this is not the case for every student. 

Daniel Nannini, Santa Monica College's Transfer Center Director, said it best, "If you test into the lowest level Math and English here, and you want to be a science major, it is nearly impossible to transfer in two years." 

You can't expect to get far if you are starting off taking classes you failed in high school.  If you are repeating your classes semester after semester, its no wonder you are still in school. 

"The student that comes in from high school and starts with Chemistry 11, Math 7 and English 1, and make school their priority, [find] no problem," Nannini said. 

The transfer process can only work sufficiently when students come into their counselor's office with some concept of what they want to do.

If your plan is to relax a semester and then proceed taking six units in a semester, then there is no chance of making your transfer an easy process.

In order to transfer to any UC or Cal State, you need at least 60 units.  This means, you would need to be a full time student taking at least 12 units during the fall and spring semesters in addition to some course during the winter and summer semester.

Nannini said, "Remember, at SMC, you have to be 18 years old and breathing to go to school here," however, upon entrance you must be dedicated to what you want to accomplish. Pushing the blame on your counselors is not the proper way to go.

The counselors see over a number of students a day.  They cannot be expected to inform you the entire transfer process in one 30-minute session.  You must come in prepared to ask question that will further the development in the puzzle called transferring.

Think about it this way, you wouldn't come in for a final review session without some knowledge of the material.  If you are still confused about something, you formulate questions that you could ask your teacher to help you out with before the actual test. The same theory should be applied to your counselor meetings.

There is no myth in the "two-year transfer system."  The system works when you make it work. 

While it is true that some counselors make it difficult to gather information that you need, "there are many counselors on this campus, so if a student isn't satisfied with one, see another," Nannini said.  "But don't expect a different experience if you are requesting unrealistic counsel."

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to such serious matters as education.  The counselors cannot be held solely responsible for your ability to transfer. 

Yes, they are there to help and guide you but the key word is guide.  They cannot be accountable for what you may or may not accomplish if you are not actively communicating with them about what you hope to complete. 

It is said that you cannot put a price on education however, people aren't hiring and the price of tuition is continuing to skyrocket in both public and private schools.  The longer you are in school, the more money you are spending and burying your self in debt.

Although SMC is known for transferring and saving you money, it cannot be treated as a second-rate school.  As a student, you should be in charge of paving the way to your future rather than counting on those who just barely can remember your name.