While the majority of students enter community college with a plan to transfer after two years, this is the case for less than 10% of students within the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), and the solution could be having more counselors specializing in transferring.
According to the most recent accountability report released by California Community College system, only 40% of California based community college students who intend on fulfilling a bachelor’s degree successfully transfer to a four-year school.
The junior college to four-year transfer system is not as simple as it sounds. While community college advocates praise a “wiser financial decision,” the discrepancies involving differing private school articulation agreements, Cal State requirements, and those of the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) are often hidden barriers between a student and transferring.
Also, a student has to fulfill General Education courses (GE) under these specific requirements listed, alongside those of required courses for a major in acquiring an Associate of Arts degree for transfer.
Adequate guidance from counselors in the Transfer Center would lessen this issue. If Pierce counselors take the time to equip students with the knowledge and most efficient timeline, students could create the most productive schedule.
“It was honestly really hard for me to find out what classes I had to take because of the counselors,” Pierce Student Lauren Ziyaaein said. “They’re all really nice but not helpful and honestly don’t seem like they know what they’re saying most of the time. I had to get a counselor outside of Pierce for help and don’t think I could’ve been ready to transfer at the two-year mark without them.”
Without this guidance from the beginning of an academic career, it is common that many students will waste their time by taking classes that don’t fulfill one of these categories to apply to schools in a timely fashion.
Also, counselors could be assigned a selection of majors. This way, depending on a student’s major, the student would visit a counselor who is knowledgeable in the necessary requirements rather than a counselor who has to rely on Google searches to answer crucial questions.
This way, students will have an efficient course plan for the next two years. With more counselors who specialize in specific majors, more students will be prepared to transfer.