The last two blogs asked you to investigate community colleges near to you; and, further, to investigate their websites for various specific pieces of information. This post is about a very specific and important aspect of community colleges: they only offer 2 year (or Associate) degrees. If you aim to have a “college education” this usually means at least a Bachelor’s degree (BA — Bachelor of Arts or BS — Bachelor of Science). Community colleges can not offer a Bachelor’s Degree; it is not the nature of a community college. Consequently, you must begin to plan (from the very beginning) the fact that you will transfer.
In this post we want you to explore transfer information at the community college (or colleges) you have been investigating. Go to the website and look for “transfer information” or “transfer agreements” or something about “transfer.” The community college will definitely have something to tell you about transferring.
The information that you want to give attention to is what kinds of agreements do they have with which institutions. For example, your authors live in California that has a system of over 100 community colleges with well established transfer agreements to either the University of California system or the California State University system — two totally different systems of college education; and, most importantly to students enrolled in community colleges, the two systems do not have the same transfer agreements with community colleges. They will have transfer agreements to each system but the requirements for transfer will be different.
Go back to the website of the community colleges you are investigating and find out:
1. What are the transfer agreements (general education courses? lower division major requirements?)?
2. What Bachelor’s granting schools does the community college have agreements with?
3. Are there GPA requirements?
4. How many units do you need to complete at the community college before you can apply to transfer to a Bachelor’s institution?
Exploring your options at a community college is central to the college decision making process. The only way to make an informed choice about where to apply (and ultimately attend) is to know what, exactly, your choices are. Go exploring!