Coastline Community College's Garden Grove campus. (Photo by Catherine Vu)
Fountain Valley High School

Three ways students can get ahead in the college transfer process

Of the FVHS graduating class of 2020, 44% will attend community college after high school before transferring to a four-year college or university, whether it be to save money or decide on their major. Here are the transfer requirements for four-year colleges and some ways high school students can get a head start on them.

 

University of California transfer

To be eligible for a junior-level transfer, students must first have at least 60 semester or 90 quarter units of transferable college credits with a minimum 2.4-grade point average.

The second requirement is to complete the seven-course pattern, which entails completing two transferable English courses, one transferable math course and four transferable courses from at least two of the following subject areas: arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences or physical and biological sciences.

Students should first focus on fulfilling transferable math and English requirements since some of the UC campuses require their completion before applying for admission.

If a student has decided their UC campus and major, they should complete their UC campus requisites for that major. If a student wants to keep their school options open, they should consider completing a UC Transfer pathway to prepare for their major at any UC campus and gain a competitive edge.

It is also strongly recommended but not required that students take general education courses through the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum pathway, especially if they are undecided about their major.

IGETC requires two English courses, one math course, three arts and humanities courses (with one from each discipline), three social and behavioral science courses from both disciplines, two physical and biological science courses (with one from each discipline and a lab) and proficiency in a language other than English (equivalent to two years taking the same language in high school).

Advanced Placement exam scores of 3, 4 or 5 may satisfy one corresponding course.

Another step that Californian community college students may be interested in taking to transfer to a UC is the Transfer Admission Guarantee Program. TAG, offered at six UC campuses, guarantees early admission to one participating UC. Students must file an online TAG application, which only guarantees admission to their UC of choice if it is accepted.

 

California State University Transfer

Students who want to transfer to a CSU need 60 semester or 90 quarter units of transferable credits and a minimum 2.00 GPA. An applicant should aim to pass 10 general education courses in the following areas referred to as “The Golden Four” as soon as possible: oral communication, written communication, critical thinking and mathematical/quantitative reasoning.

If an applicant is sure they are only applying to CSU campuses, IGETC isn’t recommended and they should take the CSU General Education Breadth instead.

 

Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment is one way high school students can fulfill some transfer requirements early by earning both high school and college credits. Huntington Beach Union High School District has an agreement for selected classes at Golden West College, including American Sign Language and Personal Health, which can be taken during the fall, spring or summer semesters. All class fees are covered by the district.

Some classes are taken at high school campuses after school, and some are hybrid classes. These classes will take place online during the fall 2020 semester due to COVID-19.

Instructions on enrolling can be found on FVHS’s College and Career Center page or GWC’s website. See counselor Marilyn Wong or College and Career Specialist Irene Yu for help with enrolling at GWC and registering for dual enrollment courses.

Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent enrollment means students can take community college courses for only college credit. These courses can be taken in person at a college campus, or as fully online or hybrid courses. Community college courses are free for high school students, but students are financially responsible for class material and service fees.

There are two limits to transferring these courses. The first limit is credit expiration; science, technology, engineering and math credits, in particular, expire within five to 10 years. The second limit is non-transferable courses. UC schools, CSU schools and private colleges all accept different courses; assist.org is a helpful site to determine course transferability.

 

AP Classes

FVHS offers 25 AP courses, which students can take to potentially meet IGETC, CSU-GE Breadth and other general education courses if they pass their AP exams.

The transfer process might be overwhelming and confusing for some. Whichever path you want to take, make sure to thoroughly research your options and contact Yu for more guidance.