As a transfer counselor, we hope that the transfer process starts long before the application comes through the door. In reality, we hope that it starts for the student when they begin at their two-year school, however, 9 times out of 10, this is definitely not the case. We’ve all seen those last minute, the-semester-starts-tomorrow applications and the frantic phone calls about starting before the add/drop deadline, but how does the process go for a student? What actually happens? Who do they actually talk to?
Well, to really see how the transfer process works for a student, we have decided to interview a transfer student from Lehigh Carbon Community College, Mr. Zachary Kunkel.
When did the transfer process start for you?
The transfer process started the middle of my third semester at Lehigh Carbon. It was constantly in the back of my mind during my first year at LCCC, but I didn’t actually start doing anything about it until the middle of my third semester.
How did the transfer process start for you?
Well, I was close with my advisor beforehand, so I frequently spoke with her about schools. Her and I would throw names out and discuss the pros and cons of the school. Once I had finally decided on my major, which was actually the most difficult part, my advisor told me to speak with the professors in that department (English) so I could pick their brains for school and program ideas.
Once I had a list of schools decided upon, I planned a few travel days, starting with the schools closest to me and working outward. I actually didn’t apply to any schools until I had seen it with my own eyes. I had never lived on campus and I knew I wanted to do that for my last two years at school, so visiting was a huge factor in making my decision.
After I visited, I filled out the applications. From there, only 2 schools got in contact with me right away and that was also important.
Did you look at any schools that LCCC had articulation agreements with?
Yes. LCCC has a few articulation agreements and it was a small factor in deciding which schools to apply to, but once it came down to deciding which one, it wasn’t as big of a factor as I originally thought.
What was the best part of the transfer process?
Well actually, the constant communication I had from both schools was the easiest part. I felt I had a very smooth transition because both the schools were in contact with me about what I needed to do to complete the transition. Everything from requesting my finals transcripts on LCCC’s side, to getting my medical records in to the school I chose’s side. Neither side missed a beat.
What was the hardest part of the transfer process?
While I had a good idea as to what to expect when I started at my new school, there was still a few things I had to get used to. Having a roommate for one was something I mentally prepared for, but you can never really prepare yourself for that.
What was the most important factor in your decision?
Knowing the number of credits that would transfer. I wanted to know before I made my decision so I could calculate money. I had already been in school for 2 years and paid for those classes, so I didn’t want them to just go down the drain. I found out from only 2 schools how many credits I would receive. Everyone else told me that I had to deposit to get that number.
After you visited and were accepted to a few schools, what was your process then?
I started to crunch numbers. I paid very little while attending a community college, so finances were important. After I put everything into the equation and thought about what I was going to get out of the school in the long run, cost wasn’t as big a deal anymore, but still a deciding factor.
Any additional thoughts?
The communication from both the community college and 4-year college were very important in making my decision. I wanted to feel prepared for what I was getting myself into and both sides fulfilled that. From advising, professors, and registrar’s on the CC’s end to the staff, financial aid, and student life on the 4-year schools end, the communication was key. It was what made me feel that I was ready to jump into a 4-year school.
So a quick wrap-up. What we keep talking about and what was discussed in the Transfer Shock post all bodes true to the transfer student. While this is just one student, with one vision, and one track, it is important to understand the process through a student. We can want, hope, and beg for the student to follow the yellow brick road to transfer happiness, but in reality, the road is filled with ditches and forks and holes for the student to navigate on their own. With both the 2-year and 4-year schools help, the transfer process can be smooth; well at least it was for Zachary.