Don’t Rush to ADT the UC

The University of California (UC) recently released a report titled “Preparing California For Its Future: Enhancing Community College Student Transfer to UC,” which discusses imbalances in UC transfer admissions and examines possible social, economic, academic, and institutional causes. They point out the fact that the vast majority of transfer students are admitted from a small handful of the state’s 112 community colleges. I commend the UC and President Janet Napolitano for creating a Transfer Action Team and publishing this study, which shows a degree of transparency that is much appreciated. As a Transfer Center Coordinator, I particularly like that the tone of the report is that of partnership. No one person, institution, or solution can address all of the challenges we face in California’s system of higher education. Within days of the report’s publication,a statement was issued by theCampaign for College Opportunity in which Executive Director Michelle Siqueiros (citing UC … [Read more...]

The Course That Doesn’t Show Up On Transcripts

So December arrives and you’ve completed your Cal State and University of California applications (as Counselors & Transfer Directors throughout California try to rediscover the joy of a good night of sleep). Maybe you even got ahead of the game and finished your apps for some private and out-of-state schools, too. All is right in the world, and you can just relax and wait for the admission offers to start rolling in, right? Well, not quite. Technology has allowed us to do amazing things, and in many ways it has streamlined the university admission process greatly. With a few mouse clicks students can extend their application from one campus to a dozen. A little creative editing and a quick copy and paste might even let you use the same essay for multiple admission and scholarship applications. A batch of apps that used to take days can now be done in a few hours. But what happens after all those apps have been submitted? Lots...and maybe more than ever for students to … [Read more...]

Finding the Fit: Cali Boy

Hi friends. I am a 19 year old community college student in California. I will be applying to universities for the Fall of 2014 and am preparing applications now (as a TAG student). I have decided to apply to mostly UC campuses, as well as a few CSU campuses.  After researching the different options available to me last year, I feel that the UC system would be the best avenue for me to take. Their ties to the California Community College system as well as their affordability make them an extremely tempting option. Furthermore, many of these schools are well respected academically and many friends and counselors I have spoken to recommend these universities as an excellent place to continue my education. To prepare for this journey I have followed a few steps I would recommend to any student looking to transfer successfully. Step 1 is simple: Work hard in your classes. Community college is different from high school in a lot of ways, but for me personally I noticed immediately that … [Read more...]

Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted

“Hey, aren’t you the Transfer Guy?” , said the young woman as I was walking across the SMC campus during the last week of September.  Of course, I was thinking about the upcoming college fair, budget issues, UC and CSU application workshops, the Common App, and, after a week due to the NACAC Conference in Toronto and missing laundry day, do I have enough clean underwear to get me through the week. I don’t do a lot of one on one counseling, but mostly workshops and classroom presentations, so I am sorta familiar to a lot of students.  I answered “Yes.  What can I do for you?” She went on to tell me her name is Amanda and she just finished her first year at UCLA, after transferring from SMC.  She is a Gender Studies major, and toying with the idea of double majoring in Spanish Literature.  She continued to tell me that her first year at UCLA was hard, but so rewarding and worth the effort.  She was just back from a one year study abroad program in Spain.  She also told me she had … [Read more...]

UC Budget Boost

If I can advocate for higher education and students, especially from the ease of my computer keyboard, then I am all for it.  How many of us got emails from the UCOP last spring asking us to help by sending a quick email to our California Representatives?  I know many of us did, and I believe many of us sent emails.  When I attended the WACAC Legislative Conference, I realized that legislators pay attention to counselors and educators that work with students on a daily basis.  One meeting or one email may not make a big difference in the overall scheme of things. However, when you add together all of the emails from each Admission Officer, each School Counselor, and many others who work with students transitioning from high school to college, we have the potential to have a strong voice. I am glad that our voices were heard and I am pleased to learn and share the good news that the 2013-14 California budget will include a 5 percent funding increase to UC's budget, and there will not be … [Read more...]