Help preparing to transfer provided at the fourth annual Transfer Conference

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Perla Lara

Transfer center co-director Brittany Lundeen giving her workshop presentation on the UC personal insight questions on Friday Oct.7. Lundeen explained to the eight students in attendance for the workshop that this year the application replaced the 1000 word personal statement question with four questions each with a max of 350 words. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Perla Lara

Geography major Gustavo Garay-Ramirez and the other students who attended the fourth annual transfer conference on Friday, Oct. 7 where greeted at registration with transfer information and a personalized agenda for the day.

According to Lucio Ramirez, the conference organizers expected the arrival of 95 students that registered for the conference and a few more students that were added at the last minute.

However, only about 60 students were in attendance according to Administrative Clerk III Ashlisha Barnett.

The schedule attendees followed was, listening to the 20-minute conference welcome and over view followed by 40 minutes of student panelist describing their transfer experience and answering questions from the audience.

This was followed by three consecutive 45-minute workshops and ended with a pizza lunch and a university fair with six universities in attendance.

In each workshop time slot, students had three or more options to choose from.uc-infograph-with-art-2

Garay-Ramirez chose to attend the CSU panel, the UC panel and for his third workshop chose the UC personal insight questions workshop.

He said, “I already started my UC application I already filled it out I’m already working on the questions. I already picked my questions but it [the workshop] really helped me get a better understanding as to what to write about and I feel a little more prepared to complete it [the UC application].”

Other key information Garay-Ramirez noticed was during the UC panel workshop “I’m very familiar with how the [the UC and CSU application process] works, I liked how they talked about the TAG not a lot of people are aware of the Transfer Admission Guarantee [program].”

The TAG program “offers guaranteed admission to students who complete a core set of courses at a California community college a full term prior to transferring,” according to Transfer Center Co-Director Marvelina Graf.

English major Maricela Ramos also attended the workshops, which for her built confidence.

She said, “I really like the workshops they’re really informative they make you feel comfortable about the whole process of transferring.

“They emphasized how important it is to start [the transfer applications] early and I like the fact that they emphasized they’re there to help you with anything you might need, any questions [you have].”

The personal insight workshop was also the one that stood out the most for Ramos.

“It’s really really good because it gives you a hint. It helps you know what the personal insight questions are before the fact before you actually apply so you can start working on them before the [UC] application just opened up so you still have until the end of November to turn it in.”

Another aspect of the conference that Ramos liked were the people that where there to give information.

“It made me feel more comfortable just knowing all the information from people who have experienced [transferring]. It makes me feel more confident in transferring that it is possible to transfer.”

Part of that human element Ramos referred to was the student panel at the beginning of the conference. A panel of four students who transferred from Cerritos College to UC and CSU colleges gave insight to the students on what to expect after transferring.

Michael Pfirrmann, who was part of the panel, transferred to UCLA in the fall 2015 semester.

“Be confident, remember that you are prepared here and those same skills you have obtained here will be applicable once you get to university.

“I’m actually a part of a program called Transfers Transitions on my campus and so part of we do as a group of volunteer we actually help incoming transfers remember that they have transferable skills, remember that they have time management skills, just remind them that they are going to be ok here at UCLA […] just to help them and guide them with their experience,” Pfirrmann said.

Rita Rodriguez was part of the panel, she transferred to CSU Fullerton in the fall 2015 semester.

As a student panelist, she represented the re-entry students on campus having gone back to school after 25 years.

The best advice she could give students was “use the resources here like I told the students today use the resources there are so many here so many of them. I went to one of Marvelina’s [Graf, transfer center co-director] workshops about transferring and it gave you steps.

“I was unsure of what my steps were going to be, what to do, where to go, ok I enrolled in classes now what do I do? […] it [going to the workshops and seeing the counselors] was such a confidence boost.”

She also mentioned the combination of using CSUmentor.edu and going to the workshops on campus for helped make the transfer application process simple.

Going to workshops was one advice that all panelist offered the reason being workshops provide students with up-to-date relevant information.

Elizabeth Ovesen, is a graduate student intern at the campus Transfer Center, she participated in the conference.

Having already gone through the transfer application process herself she had the benefit of hindsight while listening to the workshop presentations.

She said “I didn’t apply to the UC’s I went to a Cal. State. I got my undergraduate degree at CSU Fullerton so I didn’t go through the process of the UC system [for transfer applications]. As a student, I didn’t know enough about the UC system and I was intimidated by the UC system.”

Back then she had some of the same questions students have now, “I thought that maybe my GPA wasn’t high enough, or maybe I needed additional extra-curricular activities and things like that […]

“How am I going to be able to pay for it, how am I going to be able to get the resources to go to a UC. So I said ok I’m just going to stick to a Cal. State.

“In retrospect, I feel like if I were to go to the workshops now as a student I would totally apply to both the CSU’s and the UC’s and take advantage of that because I didn’t take advantage of going to UC workshops when I was in community college, it’s definitely helpful.”

Garay-Ramirez also agreed the transfer conference was helpful, he said it was definitely worth his time on a Friday and would recommend other students to attend.