Published May 4, 2012 the Express. To see the actual article, click here.
I have spent the past two-and-one-half years at City College, and though I truly treasure my experiences here, friendships I’ve made, teachers I’ve gotten to know and the plethora of knowledge I’ve obtained, it’s time to move on.
It’s a mixture of excitement and dread all at once, every ounce of work you’ve put into obtaining that AA degree or getting good grades has led up to this one defining moment: transferring.
I applied to several schools and was accepted as a double major in psychology and journalism at several schools. Many schools were impacted, didn’t suit me financially or didn’t have all the elements I was looking for in both learning departments. Believe it or not, I settled on Sacramento State University and will be attending in the fall of this year with an AA degree in psychology in hand.
The last time I made an appointment with a random City College counselor was over a year ago. I made sure that we had a game plan of what I needed to do to before I transferred. I didn’t want to keep going back.
The following are suggestions I gathered from my experience for those of you who plan to transfer:
1. Applying was really the easy part looking back, all you have to do is pick schools out and fill out the applications. The site used for state school transfer is http://www.csumentor.edu/. It is fairly easy to navigate and stores all your information as you fill out multiple school applications. Make sure you have your unofficial transcripts in hand.
2. After applying, it’s time to send off your official transcripts and SAT, ACT or AP test scores if you need to. I had to call College Board and ask them to send my AP scores to Sacramento State because I got unit credits for passing my tests in high school. There was a low fee of $15 to send AP scores directly to my top-choice school, and a copy was sent to me, as well. Even though I no longer had any sort of identification number from my test from years ago, they were able to look me up with a few simple questions.
Your first two copies of official transcripts are free if you just go to the Admissions and Records office in Rodda North. They will send them for you if you just fill out a slip with the school’s address. If you need more than two, the charge is $1 per transcript. (If you are transferring to Sac State, you don’t even need to send them because they are sent over automatically.)
3. Then, the waiting game begins. This period can really be the most stressful if you are waiting to hear from your dream school, mainly because you are constantly second guessing if you sent all the right stuff and your whole life is waiting in the balance.
Around this time the school’s email gives you information about obtaining an email account that allows you access to the school site where you can check to see if you got accepted (even before you receive the letter in the mail).
Something to keep in mind: If you have questions don’t be afraid to call the school you are applying to. During my waiting period I called multiple times, making sure I had everything in. Fortunately, at Sac State I was greeted by genuinely kind and helpful voices on the phone every time. (Joe Fisher is a very knowledgeable Sac State counselor to get in touch with.)
4. I logged on periodically to familiarize myself with the Sac State site and kept checking back until I saw the wonderful little words saying I had been accepted and the check box asking, “Would I like to attend in the fall 2012 semester, ‘yes or no?’”
After accepting I called the office again to clarify my next move and started receiving lots of letters in the mail letting me know what my next steps needed to be.
5. Sign up for orientation on time. Sign up for the soonest date possible, and pay the fee so that you have a better chance of getting the classes you need.
6. If you are graduating with an AA degree before your transfer like me, make sure to apply for your degree around the same time you are applying to transfer schools. I was contacted by Rosie Vevea, an evaluator in Admissions and Records, who emailed me that I had all the units I needed to graduate. After that good news I logged onto the City College site to sign up to walk at the commencement ceremony. Shortly after, I received an email from Kim Goff, Admissions and Records supervisor, verifying my presence and information about times and when/where to purchase my cap and gown.
At this point you are pretty much set to go just like me. The best thing to keep in mind is being very aware of deadlines. It is key to a smooth transfer during the annoying, drawn-out process. If you miss a deadline, you’re toast until next semester, and in this economy, maybe even longer.
Don’t wait till the last minute to do things. Stay on top of your game, especially because you don’t know all the ropes in your new environment yet. Most importantly, be proud of yourself. You are finally transferring to a university.
Here is the link to the graduation information and sign up page on the City College site.
Here are the contacts’ names and numbers I mentioned throughout: Rosie Vevea 558-2351 (City College), Joe Fisher 278-2223 (Sac State) and Kim Goff 558-2054 (City College).