5 ways to navigate the community college system
Many students choose to attend the excellent California community college system. There’s a chance for them to earn some certificates or AA degrees that will help them in their career or, they can transfer to a four-year Cal State or University of California campus and continue to finish their bachelor’s degree. Students who choose this option will need to complete a number of tasks before they can enroll and be successful. There are also a ton of options for students to go above and beyond when it comes to contributing to their campus community and gain an excellent chance of transferring to their dream four-year university.
1. Before the first day of class
Many students intend to start at a community college in the fall after graduating high school but never actually go through the steps to become a student. Anyone can enroll in a community college as long as they have a high school diploma but they still have to become an official student, take a series of exams, and meet with an advisor. Students should visit the website of the college they plan on attending and write down a list of important dates and deadlines. They should also visit the campus they’re going to attend and become familiar with their new surroundings. While on campus, applicants should also make an appointment to meet with an academic advisor who can walk them through the various courses they need to take to earn an AA degree or transfer to a four-year campus.
2. Academic and career counselors
Community college students should plan to meet with an academic or career counselor at least once a semester while in attendance. New students may need to meet with a counselor several times to make sure they’re on the right track. Academic counselors can make sure that a student is taking the right classes so they can transfer to a four-year university of their choice or they can help students select appropriate courses to achieve an AA degree or complete a certificate program. If students are unsure of what they want to study as their future major they should check back with their academic counselor on a regular basis. Career counselors can also help students figure out what they need to do to get to a specific career.
3. Choosing a four-year campus to transfer to
Community college students in California will have two primary choices when it comes to transfer options. They can either attend the University of California system or the California State system. Both options will provide a clear path for which courses students need to take in order to successfully transfer. Students who are thinking about attending a private college or an out-of-state school are encouraged to talk with an admissions advisor at that school to make sure the courses they’re taking are transferable (READ: 5 Things to Think About Before Deciding On a College).
4. Academic clubs and organizations
One way community college students can go above and beyond their basic course load and impress potential admissions committees is to join any number of academic clubs and organizations. Some academic societies offer membership based on the student’s GPA while others are focused on a student’s concentration/major or just their general interests. Students can also join advocacy and volunteer organizations that help students of all different circumstances be successful and feel close to their community. These types of things look really good on a transcript but they are also a fabulous way to have a good overall two-year college experience.
5. Non-traditional options
Community colleges also offer students a ton of additional options to complete their courses and earn a degree. For instance, there are eight-week courses where motivated students can get through the course material faster, online courses for students who work full-time or don’t live near the campus, and some vocational and elective courses ranging from physical fitness classes to concrete on-the-job training. There are tons of ways students can be successful these days, and they should explore the many options that community colleges have to offer.
Still applying to college? Our private Irvine college admissions consultants are here to help. Our consultants have a 97% success rate. Call us today for more information.
All blog entries, with the exception of guest bloggers, are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at [email protected] for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us write