WWU majors fair held at Whatcom

By Nate Kahn

The majority of Whatcom students are working their way to a direct transfer agreement or associate’s degree in order to attend a Washington state public institution such as Western Washington University, the University of Washington, or Washington State University.

The degrees come in forms such as an Associate in the Arts and Sciences degree an Associate in Science or an Associate in Business degree.
WWU is the most attended school that Whatcom students transfer to because of the close proximity and common course equivalencies. WWU has many different schools within the university that cater to Whatcom student’s academic interests. Whatcom students are offered a variety of programs and majors in which students can pursue their education, from the College of Business and Economics to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
On Oct. 26, faculty from Western as well as officials from the admissions department gathered in the Syre Center. The college representatives spent their day assisting students with questions pertaining to the different majors offered.
Jeanne Gaffney, the Associate Director of Admissions for WWU, sat at the admissions table handing out pamphlets and answering questions regarding the admissions process. Gaffney says she receives a lot of inquiries from Whatcom students about how their work at Whatcom reflects in a transfer degree.
“It’s not a requirement to earn a DTA; however, it is often to students’ best advantage to earn an associate’s degree first,” Gaffney said.
Gaffney said the classes offered at Whatcom give students a solid educational infrastructure, which students at WWU would be gaining in their freshman and sophomore years.
“A transfer degree does a nice job of providing the foundation courses in mathematics, english and other general education areas, as well as allowing students within the elective area to complete prerequisites for their intended major,” Gaffney said.
Most of the classes students take at Whatcom before transferring to WWU are general undergraduate requirements (GURs). Gaffney said Whatcom offers a variety of classes that fulfill those prerequisites.
“Whatcom Community College does a nice job of listing those classes that are transferable and those that are not transferable,” Gaffney said.
Gaffney said WWU has a course equivalency guide on their website that provides information about which classes do and don’t transfer.
Gaffney said most of the transfer degrees have similar prerequisites; however, Western wants students to know what they are interested in studying prior to transferring.
Kristin Alten, an Academic Career Advisor at WWU, helps students and potential students connect with resources to map their academic path.
Alten was stationed at her Academic Career Advising booth where she answers questions about career interests and areas of study. She suggested working with Whatcom advisors to understand the transfer process.
Alten said WWU has advisors that “are very knowledgeable about the requirements for Western majors and they can definitely be your first stop to get that information.”
“Our academic advising office can give you a lot of good information about what those classes might look like at Western, possible majors that you’d be interested and direct you to some departments that would give you some good resources as well,” Alten said.
There are many resources available through both Whatcom and WWU campuses for students who are in the process of transferring. Students can gain valuable information by attending the major and transfer fairs on Whatcom’s campus that happen every quarter.

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