Former OCCC student Yvonne Campbell said she wishes she had known about transfer scholarships and their deadlines prior to transferring to the Gaylord College of Journalism at the University of Oklahoma in 2009.
“I had never really looked into the scholarship opportunities available to transfer students specifically and I wish I had,” Campbell said. “By the time I knew, the deadlines had just passed.”
Campbell said students should start the transfer process early.
“It’s something that you want to look into as soon as you think that you’re going to be transferring — even if it’s a year or two … .”
Campbell said students also should go on college tours before transferring to become familiar with the campus.
“OU is huge compared to OCCC. … It’s really important to take the tours they offer.”
Students also should get a planner to keep up with deadlines and assignments, ask questions early and seek help from academic advisers, she said.
Betsey Henson, elementary education major, also transferred to OU from OCCC with an associate degree in science.
Henson said transferring is easier with an associate degree.
“Since I had an associate degree, all my classes were able to transfer with ease.”
Robert Estes is an electrical engineering major at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Estes said he started looking into universities before he started the transfer process.
“As I refined my intended major, I also refined the best schools for that major so it was just an ongoing process.
“I started the actual transfer process at the beginning of my last semester at OCCC along with the application for graduation, FAFSA for UCO, etc.”
Estes said he chose UCO for several reasons.
“The main reasons I chose UCO was for the location, the cost compared to OU and OSU, recommendations from friends that currently go there, and the fact that they offered a better program for my degree.”
Estes said he knew where to begin through friends and advisers.
“Most of the information I got from OCCC’s website or from my faculty adviser,” he said. “Other bits of information came from fellow classmates or previous knowledge gained from my time there or from classes like Success in College and Life.”
Estes said his advice for students is to not be afraid to ask for help.
“If you don’t understand something like homework or who to talk to about graduation, [ask] around. Someone will know and point you in the right direction.
“Don’t waste hours trying to do it yourself if you are confused. Ask questions and lots of them.”
Transfer and Academic Advising Coordinator Javier Puebla said OCCC’s goal is to help students get ready for future endeavors by tailoring their associate degree to best fit their goals.
“If that’s to transfer to a four-year institution to get a bachelor’s and perhaps pursue a career that is going to require a master’s or even a doctorate … the better they know where they’re going to end up, the better we can [help].”
Puebla said students need to be careful not to take courses that won’t count toward their bachelor’s degree wherever they transfer.
“All hours will transfer but the applicability to the degree they choose at another institution is another issue,” he said.
Students who want to ensure they are taking the right classes can go online and access transfer guides, Puebla said.
He said that will save time later and keep students from taking classes that may not be needed.
Puebla said often, students think a class will transfer because the class name is similar at the receiving institution but that isn’t always the case.
“ … Students should go to the transfer guide for that specific school, enter their subject and course number into their database and see what [the class] is called or if it is listed at OCCC,” he said.
“If it’s not listed, it is simply not offered.
“But if a student wants to get 100 percent accurate information for that semester or perhaps the following, they can contact the department for that class at that four-year school.”
Puebla said students also can speak to an academic adviser for advice. Students should take the transfer process step by step, he said.
The first step is to talk to a family member, friend or adviser to figure out what they want to pursue.
He said it’s best to speak with someone in the field the student is planning to pursue “to figure out what kind of educational background they need to pursue that specific type of career or job.”
Once that’s done, he said, students can set up a personalized plan.
“Do some research and investigate into which schools offer those programs and which ones would put them in the best place to be competitive once they get to the job market.”
And, most important, he said, be aware of all deadlines.
“A lot of times, especially for specific professional programs, deadlines are a year or at least a semester ahead before they even transfer.
“If they wait until the last minute, they’ll miss out on that deadline.” To access OU’s transfer guide, visit www.enroll.ou.edu/thebook/ted.
To access the UCO’s transfer guide, visit central.uco.edu/prod/bzsktedb.p_uco_disp_tran_guide.
For more information, call Puebla at 405-682-7535, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.