From CCCs to Universities: Do community colleges really prepare transfers?

Kristine Martinez

According Community college league of California from 2010 to 2011, 15,976 students transferred from a California Community College (CCC) to a University of California (UC) and 56,959 students transferred from California Community Colleges to California State colleges (CSU).

The educational objectives are different amongst students attending community colleges. Outside of financial purposes, students often attend community colleges so they may explore majors and work around schedules as they plan to transfer to an accredited university.

As many community college students are finishing out their last semester before transferring, the question arises, do community colleges prepare you well enough for accredited universities?

            “Saddleback did well in ensuring students get good grades, so they can transfer to schools, but they screw them over when they get there, because they weren’t prepared for the level and change of difficulty,” former Gaucho and current UCSB student, Alex Ayres said.

            The responses from former Saddleback and IVC students regarding community colleges transfers to universities, had many similarities and differences throughout the spectrum.

            Respondents included three former CCC students, who currently attend a UC, three who attend a CSU and three who attend a private college.

            When asked the generalized question, “Do you think community colleges prepared you for a university?” two out of three UC and all private school attendees said no, while all three CSU attendees said yes.

            “More exams, papers, etc. would have helped me to be more prepared for Loyal Mount University,” former Gaucho student Denise Fernandez said.

            She continued to explain that the workloads given to her at a private school has been the most challenging aspect of all.

While private school reckoned to be a challenging transfer to Fernandez and other private school attendees, CSU student Nico Sidaorkis thinks the contrary.

            “Community colleges definitely made this an easier transition because classes are actually quite similar, at least here at SDSU.” former IVC and Saddleback student Sidarokis said. “The hardest part honestly is trying to feel comfortable in your new home.”

            Respondents had different viewpoints on the academic aspect of a transfer, but all unanimously agreed that one of the main differences between the community colleges and universities was the social aspect.   

            “I have found that the difference between a community college and university is that you are surrounded by peers who have similar minds and ambition. This makes learning more exciting and fulfilling, but also more competitive and intense,”  UCSB student Dean Wink said.

          Respondents advise anyone planning on transferring, to get involved with student activities and not slack off.

            “Take saddleback seriously! It may be different from an actual university, but if you put in the work, you will be able to transfer sooner and you will have the option to pretty much go to whatever school you want,” former Saddleback and Vanguard student, Jessica Owens said.

            “Get the best grades you can get because it only gets harder,” Annalise Elsberg, Cal Poly student  said.

To make transferring a little easier, respondents suggested for current Saddleback and IVC students to enroll in Saddleback Professors’ Fier’s class for Chemistry, Professor Ngyuen’s class for Calculus/Algebra, Professor Merrifield’s for Anthropology and Professor Braatz’s for history.

For Community College league of California’s goals-

For Community College league of California’s fast facts and statistics-

For transfer tips-