by Alex Bigelow
For many of the students here at Whatcom Community College, transferring to a four year university is the ultimate goal. Whether it be to Western Washington University, University of Washington or any of the other public and private universities, transferring is becoming ever more difficult. Students who have been through the transfer experience can offer helpful advice.
For Kelly Sullivan, 22, a transfer student from Whatcom to Western, the process wasn’t difficult or stressful. Much of the transferring process is coming in with a major in mind and getting classes you need to declare or get closer to declaring, Sullivan said.
“Advisors are helpful most when you have a focus,” said Sullivan. All of Sullivan’s credits transferred because Western and Whatcom have a common course code. Green pamphlets outside the advising office also inform students about specific programs and classes that transfer directly to Western.
Once accepted, the first thing you have to do is accept the school’s offer to attend. Western, for example, sends you an acceptance packet telling you about the university and the programs they offer. The packet also requests a $250 fee that is required by May 1 to attend.
This fee is required for all students, not just transfers. If you plan to attend Western and are unable to pay on time, the fee can be deferred “if you’ve demonstrated significant financial need on your FAFSA,” a transfer email from Western explained. This fee pays for your transition day which deals with credit evaluation, class scheduling and other details.
Transferring with a DTA or Direct Transfer Associates which is also an AAS or Associates in Arts and Sciences makes the process much easier.
Western student Jessica Berry, 22, transferred from Everett Community College with AAS and came in as a junior in her major. “It was smooth as butta.” Berry said about her transfer.
Since Berry transferred with a DTA, she didn’t have to go through credit evaluation. Berry also said that coming in with a major in mind makes things much easier as you talk to advisors for your specific program.
Mickey Cassar, 23, said that during his transfer he got all his credits but some transferred into different areas of study.
“If you are willing, speak to department heads and they will overlook your credits and sign off to change their requirement,” Cassar said. This is helpful as Cassar said, because in most cases they will change the credits because they take a more detailed look at the credits your transferring in. “You have to be willing to do it yourself,” Cassar advised.
In the case of Western, transition day allows students to meet with advisors, either general or major specific, and pick classes for the quarter you are set to begin. Universities also use this as an opportunity to introduce you to the various clubs and extracurricular activities, similar to what Whatcom does on their Orca day.
Transition day is an opportunity to experience the university life as well as get to know and become familiar with the college you plan to attend. Oh, and since you paid for it, you might as well go.