5 Tips for Community College Students

Thursday, May 7, 2020




This is for community college students preparing to transfer to a university, all from my experiences (pretty recent too). I am finally attending the school of my dreams, and I've learned some lessons on the way. So I thought it would be best if I could do a good thing by sharing with others who are probably worried about a smooth transition into a university.




1. Ask for a course waiver. Make sure you’re not going to repeat any GE/Major related courses at your University of choice.


Example: At community college, you have completed:


  • Accounting 1 & 2
  • Econ 1 & 2
  • Statistics
  • Business Law
  • Computer skills

The university’s curriculum consists of these EXACT courses, each course is approximately $4,000.

Action: Ask for a course waiver and the MAXIMUM amounts of transfer units are allowed, and if you can use a CLEP to used in place of a course.

*Some universities have a maximum limit of 60 units for transfer students, so you would qualify as a regular admit, not as a transfer. But, that is always at the university’s discretion.

So to be sure, have it in writing.

2. Do not just speak to the advisors, counselors, or admissions office at the university. Speak to mentors or Alumni who have attended the school.

  • What kind of experiences can I have?
  • How is the support system?
  • Are there career growth opportunities?
  • Student associations on campus?


3. Check-in with the professors of the program, and make sure they have experience. The last thing you would want is for a Professor to teach you what the workplace “wants”.

In community college, you’ll find some professors there with tons of experience and some with none to little.

Don’t be afraid to investigate the school and the professors. You’re told you to have no experience or degree before getting a job, so how can a Professor with no experience teach you the skills necessary to thrive in the workplace?

You are paying to learn skills and meet certain requirements. If you have no experience or practical skill or knowledge, your degree is useless, regardless of your major.

Don’t wait for the school or professors to give you the opportunity.

3. Double Major or Multiple Associates or Bachelors Degree

Check to see if your school can give you a second BA for completing a couple more courses for another degree.

Example: Business Administration is 120 Units, 10 more units and you could have a marketing degree as well. This is also at the university’s discretion.

However, please do not expect them to tell you anything whether it’s at the university or community college. Most of these things require your OWN research and effort.

 I received 2 Associate degrees just by researching and bringing it to the attention of my counselor. You may hear some people say it is useless, but this Associates's degree helped me land entry-level jobs, rather than waiting another 2 years to complete my Bachelor's degree.

4. Choose the right type of degree

I can’t explain this enough, but research the difference in a Bachelor of Arts vs Bachelor of Sciences.

From my understanding, the Bachelor of Arts covers a broad course load and a Bachelor of Science is focused. But, this could be just for business, but that is what I was told numerous times.

Whatever you do, whatever it is you’re studying, do the research on your own. As we’ve seen in Michelle Obama’s interview, when she told her counselor she wanted to attend Princeton University, the counselor said it wasn’t for her. Michelle Obama attended Princeton University regardless of what she was advised. 

I was told many times to stop being aggressive or that I was "too much". But, from where I stand, put in the hard work and the blessings will follow.

My journey 

 I worked my whole life to be able to attend the University of my dreams and I wouldn’t take a second back.

I hope everyone feels that way about their experience in school. We can make changes in the system, and we can do this by taking part and asking questions, raising our voices, and taking part in student organizations. It starts now.

Be the change you want to see.