How to ensure a trouble-free transfer
by Gregory Lloyd
Like many other adults, you may have accumulated many college credits
but never finished your degree. Or you may currently be attending a community
college, vocational school, or technical school and wish to transfer to
a four-year school. If so, there are a number of steps to follow to ensure
your credits will be accepted for your degree at the new school.
First, call the student affairs office at the four-year college youve
chosen (contact more than one school, if possible) and schedule an appointment
with a pre-admissions advisor to find out which credits transfer. Do this
as soon as possible. If youre currently attending another school,
it is important that you work with your current college advisor and a
pre-admissions advisor from the four-year school at the same time to ensure
there are no surprises. Many programs at four-year schools have specific
classes you must take before you can be accepted.
Also, many four-year schools are still biased against two-year schools
and may not accept as many credits as you would hope. This is because
of the variety of accrediting organizations. Some schools are accredited
regionally, others nationally, and others both regionally and nationally.
Regionally accredited schoolsthe traditional four-year institutionstend
not to accept credits from nationally accredited schools, such as nursing
schools, religious schools, and culinary arts schools.
If youre not yet ready to transfer, a pre-admissions advisor will
help make sure the classes you take at the community college are the ones
you need. They will also let you know if the required prerequisite classes
change. Generally, courses transfer as one of three types of credits:
Elective Credits. These are courses that are not accepted as part
of your major or as part of your general education requirements but still
count towards your degree.
General Education Credits. These courses-basic liberal arts
courses such as English, history, science, and mathare similar at
many colleges and meet the general education requirements for many degrees.
Courses in Your Major Field of Study. These are courses that may
not meet the requirements of your major at your new college. Prerequisites
to courses in your major field of study usually can be transferred. Coursework
for advanced classes varies from school to school and is often rejected
when transferring credits.
If you are transferring fewer than 40 college credits, most colleges
require SAT or ACT scores. Some colleges require SAT or ACT scores from
all transfer students. If you have already completed an associates
degree, you may not have to provide these scores.