By JOSEPH SIML
Transferring. Is on the minds of a lot of Pima Community College students as the Fall semester nears. Especially my own since I’ve attended Pima for two years. During my time here I’ve had the chance to learn a few things about the transfer process. Please note, however, that I am NOT a counselor. This is just friendly advice if you have any questions, be sure to talk to an appropriate counselor.
1) If you’re new to Pima, make sure you talk with a counselor about the AGEC. The AGEC is a pre-approved state curriculum pathway that is guaranteed to transfer completely to any state university. Following this pathway can save you a lot of time and frustration. There’s no need to lose credits when you’re finally ready to head to a university. You can view the AGEC outlines online with a quick Google search.
2) If you have free time this summer and need a class or two to meet a transfer requirement, consider taking a CLEP test (College Level Exam Program). CLEPs are comparable to AP tests because if you pass, you get college credit. In addition, CLEPs can be taken at any time, unlike AP tests, which can only be taken once a year. Just be aware that Pima doesn’t offer credit for every single test.
3) Another thing you should consider before transferring is joining Phi Theta Kappa, the honors society for community colleges. You’re eligible to join if you have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and possess around 12 credits earned at your institution. Besides being a feather in your cap, membership in Phi Theta Kappa can prompt state universities to increase your potential transfer scholarship award. Honor society students are in my opinion, more attractive to universities because they generally help boost the institution’s average GPA and graduation rate. Many universities are willing to pay a little more for students like this. For example, the university I’m planning to attend will increase the general transfer scholarship by 67% if the student belongs to Phi Theta Kappa. Not a bad increase for good grades.
4) Perhaps most importantly of all, know your deadlines. Admissions applications and scholarship applications often have different deadlines, with the latter generally being much sooner. If you’re planning on transferring soon, make sure you submit in time for scholarship consideration.
The transition to a 4-year institution can be a very intimidating process because there are so many unknowns but it doesn’t have to be that way. I encourage everyone reading this to go and learn more about the process. The more you understand about it, the more easy and stress-free the experience will be.