Transfer risks and realities.

David Gutman


Imagine a situation where a student has his whole college life planned out: It’s his fourth semester and he is just able to fit in the necessary classes in order to graduate and transfer by the end of the semester.
One problem: He took nineteen units to do it.
Six units dedicated to transferrable Math and English Courses, seven units towards science and lab
courses, and lastly six units towards major preparation. It’s no wonder he failed. One semester wasted, one more year before he can even think about attempting to go to his dream university.
“We always recommend that students take their math and english as fast as possible,” said Saddleback College Transfer Center Coordinator/ Counselor Orlantha Nin. “It’s also important to declare a major and plan out early on.”
It sounds easy but some students are overwhelmed and feel Saddleback College is not preparing students as well as they could.
“I feel that the school should offer more core classes,” said Elijah Noble 20, business. Many students feel left out because they are not able to register for the classes they need. Other students have a late
registration date due to their name and how many semesters they have been enrolled. For students that delayed, its a perfect storm of closed classes which delay them even further.
When a young man or woman attends a college it’s usually with a purpose. That purpose can vary greatly between students: to learn art sculpting over a semester, achieve an AA degree in a year and a
semester, or declare a major in order to transfer to a bigger, and better location to achieve their dreams.
As it turns out according to Saddleback College’s Transfer center, Saddleback is a transfer school, no doubt about it. Saddleback students have transferred to many prestigious universities such as USC and San Diego State to name a few.
According to Nin: Saddleback College ranks eleventh in statewide transfers to the UC system for the 2010-2011 year, third for Orange County Colleges and eighth for Southern California Colleges for UC & CSU Transfers 2010-2011.
It may be obvious to most, but to some the work involved may not be apparent to even the most prepared Saddleback student. To transfer to a California State system requires sixty units which for a typical
student is roughly fifteen units each semester with summers off.
According to Saddleback Counselors and general knowledge, a full load of school work is twelve units.
“You get really excited early on in the semester with all the classes they think they can handle it but they
don’t realize the facts and the amount of study involved,” expresses Lill Martinez, CRC Tutor.
All too often students don’t know what they want to do while time is counting down, by the
time they realize it they need to take nearly twenty units to be able to transfer, and all the classes are
math, English, and science.
Some students are capable of pulling off this great feat, such as Saddleback alumna: Stephanie Plese,
who took nearly twenty-three units in order to transfer to UCLA. According to Plese, it is all a matter of
good time management.
“My only mistake was thinking I could continue with the same schedule and get another 4.0 at UCLA,”
said Plese.
While some people seem to be super students that are able to complete such an astounding feat, for
others it can be a struggle to manage even a regular work load.
“I think it depends on the classes and the instructors teaching them,” said Brandon Sloan 20, Cinema,
T.V. and Radio. “It’s all about teacher-student relationship.”
Contrary to what many people would think about online education, online courses are not a godsend to a
filled schedule.
“Online classes are twice as much work and because you don’t meet on campus, you are on your own,”
said Chris Tate 19, Liberal Arts. “Nobody wants to be stuck at a JC for longer than they should.
For students that have crashed and burned there is hope yet.
“If a student were to fail a class they can repeat a course and turn in a repeatability form and then the
first, unsatisfactory grade is disregarded,” said Nin.
All that is lost is time and money, but this is only a delay from what dreams may come in the minds of
students at Saddleback working to transfer.