Transfer Centers help Tri-C students begin their next college chapter
November 13, 2017
Transferring from one college to another can be a complicated and confusing process. For an increasing number of students at Cuyahoga Community College, this process has become a necessity.
Companies in many career fields now prefer – if not require – a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the field of study, it can be an essential entry on a student’s resume.
Thousands of students enroll at Tri-C each year with the goal of moving on to a four-year college or university. Their reasons for starting at Tri-C are varied – lower tuition cost, scheduling flexibility, a wide range of programs – but each student must use their Tri-C education to build momentum in preparation for transfer.
Tri-C academic counselors provide students with guidance on scheduling courses and aligning credits in advance of transfer. But there is more to transferring than just academics.
That’s why Tri-C created its Transfer Center program five years ago. The College’s Transfer Centers provide students with start-to-finish coaching and guidance on the entire transfer process. From the first center on the Metropolitan Campus, the program has expanded to include centers on the Western, Eastern and Westshore campuses.
“Once a student has an academic plan from their counselor, they can come to us,” said Katy Marshall, transfer specialist at the Westshore Campus. “We’ll help them look at schools that might be a good fit, develop a transfer timeline and complete their transfer application.”
One of the most important roles the Transfer Centers play is connecting students with outside resources. The centers organize campus visits to four-year universities and assist students in researching scholarship and financial aid options, among many other services.
“Financing is always a big question,” Marshall said. “We try to connect students with financial aid specialists and give them as much information as possible on grants and scholarships that they might be eligible for. We work closely with College Now Greater Cleveland on a lot of that. They do great work maintaining a database of scholarships, including scholarships specifically for transfer students.”
Tri-C’s Transfer Centers also maintain numerous partnerships that connect students with representatives at four-year schools. Organized campus visits take place four times per semester, usually to a school in Ohio. Tri-C students with more than 30 earned credit hours are encouraged to attend the campus visits, which are open to all students.
“The tours are conducted at no cost to the student,” said Elizabeth Zeszotek, interim director of the Metro Campus Transfer Center. “Students are given transportation, a presentation on the school, a tour of campus and lunch. It’s a great opportunity to see what life is like at a school before they fully invest in transferring there.”
In addition to campus visits, the Transfer Centers bring representatives from four-year schools to the College for conferences, fairs and Gradfest.
“We bring in schools from all over the country,” Marshall said. “We have a lot of great partnerships with four-year schools, but students aren’t just limited to transferring to those partner schools. They can take their Tri-C education and transfer anywhere. Wherever a student transfers, our main concern is that it’s the best fit for them.”
With all of that in mind, what do you need to know as a student? Here are a few pointers:
Zeszotek recommends making a final decision on whether you want to transfer at least six to nine months before transferring. It takes at least that long to research colleges, apply for financial aid and apply to the school itself.
Work closely with your academic counselor
The Transfer Centers do not provide academic counseling, so it’s important to inform your counselor of your desire to transfer – and the earlier, the better. Your counselor can help you map out an academic plan that ensures most – if not all – of your credits transfer to a four-year school.
Consider a minimum of three schools
The first school you look at might not be the best school. Having a field of three schools under consideration will allow you to compare and contrast, increasing the chance that you’ll make the right decision when the time comes.
Utilize a checklist
A checklist is available at www.tri-c.edu/transfer that covers all of the necessary steps and tasks involved in the transfer process.
Visit the Transfer Center on your campus to make an appointment with a transfer specialist:
Metro Campus.......................................................MSS G15
Western Campus...................................................WSS G202
Eastern Campus....................................................ESS 2135
Westshore Campus/Corporate College West..............CCW 102-B