Transferring May Be Easier Than it Seems

Garineh Demirjian

Students entering a community college from high school usually have different goals in mind. Some may want to get a certificate, learn a new trade or receive an AA degree. But for many, their sights on are transferring to a four-year college or university.

However, when the promise of attending a university by first enrolling in a community college nearby for a couple years at far cheaper tuition costs is quite appealing.

The transfer process can be easy and seamless if one makes use of counselors, instructors, gets the right information and meets deadlines. What follows is a breakdown of what it takes to transfer from a community college, even if students have been attending for far longer than originally intended.

Kevin Meza, transfer center coordinator said, “Treat the transfer process as if it were a class. Take time to investigate the admissions process and requirements to the UCs, CSUs, and a few private schools.”

“Most students are admitted into at least one (and sometimes all) of their preferred colleges if they have a strategy,” said Meza.
Students attending community college for the first time and straight out of high school are in luck. Having a chance to start over with a clean slate of grades, opportunities and goals is a possibility to start over.

The first step is going see your counselor, and not just once in the beginning of the semester to figure out a class schedule, but throughout the school year.

Make them a frequent friend because they are professionals who have given hundreds of students the proper advice and guidance regarding transfers. Talk to them about future plans; where to transfer, associate degrees, a major and remember to visit the transfer center. Keep in mind that it’s never too early, and once the first semester begins students hit the ground running because believe it or not two years quickly fly by.

Meza said, “Keep expanding and exploring your options. Many of the colleges that were out of reach for high school students are now accessible through the transfer process. The UCs, CSUs, and most private schools do not require an SAT score and the GPA requirements are much more lenient.”

To the sophomores who have already gotten through the first year of a community college, congratulations you are halfway there! This is the time to figure out the nitty gritty aspects of transferring.

First is figuring out a major; even if students are not sure it’s what they want to be doing for the rest of their lives, its better than having no direction at all. Picking a major is not only for personal self-realization; it’s vital to the transfer process. Without having a major, it will be difficult to plan major prep courses. An advantage of picking a major early is often students can take courses that are required on the general education pattern, and major prep courses, therefore killing two birds with one stone.

Secondly, is knowing what most students don’t about the application process. If students want to transfer to the University of California (UC) Berkeley or UCLA students must apply one year ahead and only for the fall. Another key aspect to remember is students must finish all required classes before the spring of transferring. This means that if the student plans on being at UCB or UCLA in fall 2008 students must apply in fall 2007 with a deadline of Nov. 30 and any major prep course and the minimum required 60 units must be finished by spring of 2008.

Besides the three UCs mentioned above, all others accept winter transfers based on budget and availability and the application should be done by the July prior to transfer.

Students wanting to transfer to a Cal State University (CSU) have a much less complicated application process. All students need is the General Education completed and preferable major prep courses, but is not strictly required. Students may apply to a CSU for the fall from Oct 1 – Nov 30, for spring in Aug 1 – 31 and winter from June 1 – 30. Classes taken in the summer are often accepted.

“Students will get into most UCs and CSUs even with GPAs in the 2.0-2.8 range,” Meza said, reassuring students that may have doubts.

If students have already picked a major and want to know what the major preparation requirements are for a CSU or UC should visit

Community colleges also have guaranteed admission programs, where students make a contract with the CSU or UC and their community college promising that the student will take the required courses by a certain deadline. Also students must keep up grades in order to have the guaranteed admission.

Schools that offer guaranteed admission from Glendale are CSUN, CSULA, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz. All have different requirements, standards and deadlines. Check with a counselor or visit the transfer center website listed below for more information.

Thirdly, and possibly the most important part of transferring are English and math classes. Often, students are forced to stay an extra year or more to complete the requirements for these courses, particularly math. For some students it’s dreadful but knowing that you can’t transfer without it should be enough motivation.

To avoid such mistakes it is essential to take math and English assessment tests. Make sure to take an English and math course every semester until all transferable courses are fulfilled. This way no matter if students are placed in ESL or elementary algebra, more often then not students will be able to transfer in time.

At Glendale Community College the required English courses are English 101 and English 102 or 104 (104 if you want to transfer to CSULA). A transferable math course is also required. Math100,103,103H,104, 104H,105,105H, 107, 107H,108, 108H, 110, 111, 112, 135 or 136 are all transferable math classes. Students need to complete at least one with a grade of “C” or better.

Who said school is all work and no play? Bear in mind to stay active on or off campus. It can be anything from clubs, athletics, student organizations, work or volunteering it’s important to do other things.

The transfer center offers tours to campuses such as UCLA, USC, UC Irvine and UC San Diego. Sign up early as space is limited. In the spring semester they offer a “Northern California trip,” which is a three-day trip to Northern California schools during spring break and a visit to UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara and a fourth school that has yet to be decided. The trip is free to all students who sign up in time and allows for a couple of days exploring campuses they have never seen before for free.

The transfer center’s hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays. It is located on the second floor of the San Rafael building. Students can also reach counselors at (818) 240 -1000 ext. 5442 or