By Valerie Polite
The Ammerman campus, home to over 14,000 students, with a 68 cumulative percentage student transfer rate, accommodates numerous aspiring undergrads with copious transfer opportunities.
Transferring to a new school can be very intimidating and nerve-racking; however, through the efforts of the college’s Office of Academic Affairs, the anxiety and stress originally associated with the process has drastically declined.
“When I was at Suffolk there was a transfer workshop at least once every two weeks. They’re a great opportunity for students because they help get their feet in the door to explore all the transfer opportunities Suffolk has to offer,” Angela Horstman, a Stony Brook transfer student said. “It’s something transfer students should really be a part of.”
Tuesday, March 13, the Ammerman campus held a transfer workshop in the Ammerman building, room 102, to support and prepare students for their impending future.
“It was a great opportunity for me”, said a liberal arts major, who requested to keep their name withheld. “I’m in my last semester here and really needed to start searching and gathering information for my transfer. Through their help, I’ve decided on St. Josephs College.”
“I think students benefit from getting an overview of the transfer process and hearing the questions of other students. This enables them to be better prepared for their subsequent individual meeting with a counselor regarding their transfer plans”, said Dr. Tom Tyson director of Counseling and assistant Dean for Student Services.
Although the transfer workshops are proven to be a great resource for transfer students, “Thus far, there has only been an average of three students per session”, according to Tyson. “All students are encouraged to participate and are guaranteed to get something out of it.”
Future transfer workshops can be found on the college website, under calendar of events and are usually offered twice a month.
St. Josephs College, a popular choice among undergrads, is often referred to as the “sister School”, and is incorporated in the College’s Articulated Agreement Plan.
“The primary purpose of articulated agreements is to make the transfer of credits and courses between institutions as seamless as possible”, said Tyson. “Ideally, students are able to complete the first two years of academic requirements of the transfer institution by taking equivalent courses at SCCC. This benefits students by saving them time and money once they arrive at the baccalaureate institution.”
“The plan really makes transferring easy”, said Brittany Marie, a St. Josephs, English major transfer student. “With the ample number of colleges in participation, it gives students options, and with tuition on the rise everywhere you look, it enables students to save time and money. I know people who have over 100,000 dollars in student loans. If you ask me, two years at Suffolk are well worth it.”
Including St. Josephs College there is an overall total of 35 colleges in articulated agreement, each offering various degrees’ and majors for its students. A list of additional colleges in participation with the Articulated Agreement Plan can be seen on the college website, under the “Current Students: Transfer Opportunities” tab.
“In addition to the articulation agreements for specific schools and majors much work has been done between the community colleges and 4-year SUNY institutions to identify parallel degree programs and to align courses”, said Carla Mazzarelli, Vice President of Academic and student affairs.
As of spring 2012, courses taken on campus are universally transferrable only to the schools listed in the articulated agreement plan however; the chancellor aims to revolutionize transferrable credits by vowing to have all community college courses transferable to SUNY 4-year institutions by 2013.
On January 12, at the Board of Trustees meeting, college President Shaun L. McKay stated “The Chancellor has now elevated it to the state of address where it’s going to be something taken before the SUNY Board of Trustees to mandate that every course taken at a 2-year institution is transferrable to any 4-year SUNY institution by 2013.”
“This would be a huge advancement in transfer opportunities and would considerably lower the stress and hassle of the transfer process”, said Christy Felice, a Stony Brook transfer marine biology major. “As of now the thought of transferring is terrifying to students because there are so many forms to fill out and you never know what class you’re going to have to repeat because it’s not transferrable.”
Although the goal is to have this system up and running by 2013, Mazzarelli lacks confidence that it will be fully completed and ready for use by the elected time frame. “While the goal may not be fully accomplished by 2013, it is much easier today for a student to transfer than it was in the past”.