Tips from the College Transfer Center

By Angie Tamayo

Originally published in the December 2014 issue.

If you are a transfer student planning to move on to a four-year institution, the process begins the very first day you start classes at Seattle Central College, and it can become a nightmare if you do not have an early plan to help you get into your preferred university. Luckily there are resources at your disposal.

Looking for help?

You are not alone. One of Seattle Central’s priority functions is to serve as a stepping stone in the transfer student’s journey, The first and fastest place you can go it is the college web page; it has a comprehensive section about this topic which features hints and a very informative PDF handbook with a step-by-step process, as well as worksheets to help you hone in on a specific career path or university.

For in-person help, visit the College Transfer Center that is located on the first floor in BE 1113. In this office there are advisors to help guide you find the right school, explain the application process, go over your transfer degree requirements, and review personal statements. The Transfer Center also puts on related workshops, transfer fairs and events to meet with people who come directly from the universities. You can schedule an appointment or go during drop-in hours on Monday and Thursday, 1:00 to 4:00 pm, and Tuesday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Anne Colpitts, one of the advisors from the College Transfer Center has been working here for more than year, and is always able to help students, such as giving feedback on college application personal statements.

“We usually read them for content. Is it clear? Is it hitting the most important things? Sometimes we will recommend students to expand [a] certain section, or maybe tell them, you need to talk more about your academic background, or talk about your time at Seattle Central, sometimes students skip that part, and it is good to  include that you have experience as a college student,” said Colpitts.

The secret of a strong candidate

One key to successfully transferring to a four-year college or university is planning. Colpitts said that once you are better informed and know the major you want to study, you should start planning your transfer date (what quarter you will start at a four-year college), especially if you are an international student who has to worry about visas and immigration.. Knowing your transfer date will also help you plan out your academic year at Seattle Central in order to complete your requirements before deadline. It will be easier if you know how many credits you have to take per quarter, when to take the TOEFL or SAT if needed, or do some extracurricular activities that will enhance your transcript.

“Having a good GPA is helpful, but students with a variety of GPA’s can usually find a school that is right for them. A lot of universities like to see students who have been consistent and are well prepared, students who plan ahead and take the right classes,” said Colpitt.

Be like a detective, ask questions

One of the best recommendations Anne gives to students is to ask many questions and do not assume anything because the process varies on a case-by-case basis. Maybe you conclude that the college and major you are applying for doesn’t require higher level math, but when it comes time to transfer, guess what? You are still missing a few key classes. The point being, you must have a firm understanding of your own specific academic requirements so that you don’t waste time or precious tuition funds.

“Be familiar with the (education) system,” said Colpitt. “It is very legitimate to have questions. We are happy to answer questions, and students should not feel silly if they find it confusing—we will try to make it clear,” she added.

So if you plan to transfer, take some time to go to the Transfer Center, ask many questions and go back if necessary. Once you know the steps and requirements you can plan your academic future.


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