By DAVID PUJOL
Pima Community College students attend school for their own reasons. I came to Pima to finish my general education credits and transfer to the University of Arizona.
Like most students who plan to transfer, I came to PCC because of its much lower cost.
Unfortunately, few Pima students know about a helpful transfer class.
Transfer Strategies, known as STU 210 at PCC, prepares and assists students in their transfer to the UA. All PCC campuses offer the class in both the spring and fall semesters.
The class covers everything from beginning your application to which garage to park in. (Hint: it’s the Second Street garage.)
Although students occasionally hear about STU 210 from their advisors, it seems not every student is given that information.
You should take the class the semester before you plan on transferring. Students who find out too late forfeit a great opportunity to handle their transition to the university like a pro.
I have first-hand experience taking the class at West Campus with instructor Todd Slaney. He’s been teaching the course since July 2014.
This semester the West Campus class had two sections, offering either a Friday or Tuesday meeting time. Both meet once a week for about two hours. More sections of the class are available during the spring semester.
Campus tours, priority registration and insider knowledge are just some reasons to take the course instead of transferring solo. Slaney talks about everything from application deadlines to how to write a great personal statement for your essay portion on scholarships applications.
Priority registration means you can register during UA’s “priority registration week.”
STU instructors really hope to see you accomplish your goal of transferring.
“I just really enjoy working with students who are finishing up and transferring onto their next steps,” Slaney said.
The feeling of transferring can be overwhelming on its own. It’s even more overwhelming to have questions that no one can answer.
Transfer students have a flurry of documents, paperwork, deadlines and dates to follow.
Obligations range from cancelling student financial aid at PCC to submitting copies of your immunization records. You also must provide verification of lawful presence, which is a fancy way of saying you must prove that you are a resident and eligible for in-state tuition.
STU instructors even make issues like how you’ll pay for tuition seem less scary.
“I think it can really help any student who is transferring over,” Slaney said. “Leaving PCC and its security and moving off to the UA, there’s a big shift there.”
Sarah Dunbar, a PCC student taking Slaney’s Tuesday course, is a pre-business student who hopes to be attending UA’s Eller business school soon.
“I feel like Todd does a really good job of telling you what you need to do and guiding you if you’re still feeling lost,” she said.
The class meets at both the UA and PCC and feels like a 16-week university orientation.
You learn about all the resources included with tuition payments, such as drop-in tutoring or using the recreation center.
“It’s great information to be told about everything the university has to offer and to actually see it firsthand,” PCC student Wesam Eljerdi said. He will be attending the Eller school for pre-business.
Site tours offer lessons in everything from campus plant life to the athlete memorabilia that sits in the McKale Center hall of champions. You get to know the university well before you start attending or even have your classes picked out.
Once you finally receive your acceptance letter, your STU instructor guides you to your next savior — the advisor for the college you’ll be attending.
After scheduling an appointment with your college’s advisor to plan your years at the UA, you’ll feel at ease for the time being.
“You feel like you can do this after you see your advisor,” Dunbar said. “And, when Todd says you’ve got this, you actually believe him.”