Gavilan Students Prepare for College Transfer: A Day, A Sprint, A Waitby on Jan 12, 2018
The first week of each November, Gavilan College hosts Transfer Day, inviting college recruiters, nearby and nationwide, to share their best programs and pitch Gav students. It was no different this year, as students exited the packed Student Center with bags of swag and excited chatter about what they learned.
Many students have used the Career Transfer Center (CTC) since first arriving on campus, signing up for free weekend visits to campuses at the University of California and the California State University systems.
30-day sprint, or year-long marathon?
And many students start, and finish, their online applications in the month of November, immediately following Transfer Day.
Programs across campus, with counseling staffs advising hundreds of students, see the process as a methodical marathon. The first stop is with a counselor to create a solid ed plan. As soon as a student arrives at Gavilan. With a commitment to check in with their counselor at least once every semester.
The second stop is a visit to the CTC itself, with computers, calendars, timelines and materials from hundreds of four-year colleges. Plus a knowledgeable staff plugged into each four-year school's requirements and deadlines, on a first-name basis with the recruiting staff.
If Transfer Day 2017 was a jammed event, students who chose the 30-day sprint found packed computer classrooms and one-on-one assistance from dedicated counselors. In the CTC, students were sailing in, claiming computers as soon as the doors opened.
Students flocked to the Student Center between their classes to talk with college
admissions officers about their programs.
Some students made the CTC their second home, some became BFF during the month of November, and some arrived the final week, even the final day of November, with very specific, potentially acceptance-critical questions.
- Is this the CTC?
- Are you helping with transfer applications?
- How do I check my ed plan?
- I just need help finishing up my transfer application...
- Which classes are transferable?
- Which ones do I list?
- Where's the college catalog?
- Does it populate?
- How do I check BOG waivers, apply for FAFSA and add school codes?
Whatever the question, the staff at CTC has an answer or will pick up the phone to find out.
Gavilan students juggle work, varying class loads, family life every single semester
Richard Guevara credits TRiO with his introduction to CTC during a campus tour.
"Along with my counselors, Jacquelyn Richburg kept me on track," he said. After the tour, he came back alone, and often. He started his online application to Cal State Monterey Bay (CSUMB) the first of November. He made an appointment with the CSUMB admissions counselor, who vouched for its completeness. She also explained what admissions looked for in the essay portions of the application.
Richard Guevara and Jacquelyn Richburg share
a smile after his transfer application is accepted.
"My mom really pushed me to get a college education, something she doesn't have," Guevara said. "I finished the transfer application on her birthday, mid-November."
Fitting for a kinesiology major, Guevara approached it as a marathon. "I always took a full load, never dropped a class, took summer classes, took an intersession class." He will graduate Spring 2018 and expressed excitement about his transfer.
For many students, help had to come from the college
"As a first generation college student, my parents had no background to help me through the transfer application process," said Karlie Juarez.
"I started at Gav in 2015," she said. "I learned about CTC from counseling, and I've been in three times." Late in November, Juarez is back with an envelope of financial information so she can complete the final few pieces of information. She is applying to CSU East Bay, SJSU and CSUMB.
Karlie Juarez posts the financial data
requested for her transfer application.
"I want to work with kids, juveniles in probation," she said, "and the program at San Jose State is well known."
From her mom, who works with Community Solutions and on the local gang task force, Juarez learned about kids who have no homes, don't have both parents, any family stability.
"I want to make a difference," she said.
Brian Martinez learned about CTC through the Puente program. He credits his counselor, Celia Marquez, with helping him meet his goals and keeping him on track.
Martinez will graduate Spring 2018 with an AA in Psychology. Because of the motivation he received from counselors and from his psychology instructor, Dr. Carlton Oler, he wants to motivate kids to do more with their lives.
"CTC helps with the transfer applications," he said. "Even more, they help target the narrative boxes to the admissions officers."
He is applying to a number of CSUs, but his dream school is Chico State and its psychology program. Bonus: just enough distance from home so he can grow as an individual.
Had he hit 'send' yet?
"No, I'm taking the transfer apps over to Celia for a final look," Martinez said. "We are lucky to have the CTC, students should use it to their advantage."
Nursing student Janet Serrano worked as student support staff to Richburg in the CTC. After stints in other departments on campus, she has learned about many of the support services on campus. And, as a student herself, she can relate.
"I really appreciate the overall Gavilan community and its support," she said. "I talk about all the college benefits out in the community."
Her goal is to earn one of the 22 prized RN slots in Allied Health at Gavilan.
Janet Serrano (standing) helps students navigate the online transfer program.
And the wait begins
The UC campuses will start notifying students about their acceptance in late February. The schools in the CSU system all have different dates, but students could hear back in March. After the marathon, the sprint and the wait, students will decide on their college of choice and confirm an intent to enroll no later than May 1.