Transfer Center lends helping hand

Janelle Green

Saddleback students have numerous advantages on campus that can help them prepare for transferring to a four-year college.

The college has a transfer center, a counseling center, classes, and plenty of programs, seminars and workshops all devoted to help make the transfer process a successful experience.

“That’s why we’re here,” said Sarah Kobata, one of the six transfer center counselors. “We want you to succeed in the transfer process, but it’s in your hands.”

Miki Mikolajczak, the Transfer Center’s coordinator/counselor, states that time managing your time and prioritizing is key.

“Get Math and English out of the way ASAP,” said Mikolajczak. “Come see us every semester if you want to be in and out [of Saddleback] in a timely fashion, but if you’re working thirty hours a week then you’re not getting out of here.”

Most high school guidance counselors advise that community colleges offer a two-year plan to obtain an associate’s degree, but many students beg to differ.

“I’ve been here for three years, and I don’t plan on transferring for another year,” said David Son, 23, business. “It’s cheap to experiment here, so why would I rush to leave?”

Society also assumes that community colleges are meant to prepare a student for transfer to a four-year school, but they don’t realize that Saddleback College is a college.

“Our classes are not a lesser level of class,” said Terence Nelson, counselor. “Our classes are on the same rigorous level [as any UC or Cal State].”

Because of the difficulty in the presumed simple classes, students should be prepared.

“It’s important to start planning early,” said Jennifer Rachman, counselor. “Take an applied psychology class, or go to to pick a major.”

The Transfer center offers Algebra2go, which is a Web site containing videos, worksheets, class notes, and quizzes for students who need extra help for pre-algebra and beginning algebra. To take advantage of this opportunity, visit

The center also offers class visits to get the word out about their on-hand resources, along with seminars, REP visits, college fairs, and campus tours.

One of the most useful programs is TAG-you’re in! Transfer Admission Guarantee, or TAG, which guarantees its members a spot at a four-year college.

Most importantly, students are urged to say focused and positive during this hectic process.

“Life happens,” said Sara Nieves-Lucas, counselor. “Plan well, but be realistic because plans change.”

The Transfer Center is located in the Student Services building room 140. It is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, contact the office at (949) 582-4328. For general questions and comments, e-mail the office at

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