Tucked away in a hidden corner of the expansive San Diego City College campus is the Transfer Center, located across B Street from the library.
It’s a place where students are not only guided through their community college journey, but also down their career path.
A common misconception is that students don’t need to visit the transfer center until the last year of school.
But it’s never too early to ask for help.
“The earlier the better,” said Joseph D’Ambro, senior student services assistant at the Transfer Center.
D’Ambro said students can meet with a counselor who lays out all of their options to facilitate a timely transfer to a four-year university.
The counselors can also help with the application process. For UC and CSU schools, the deadline for fall 2019 is Nov. 30.
The Transfer Center also offers workshops and personality tests to find career ideas for undecided students.
“The idea is to (help) students to find something they love,” he said.
According to the Washington Post, the image of the modern undergraduate is not necessarily that of a student packing up a bag and moving away to a university months after graduating high school.
“More than one-third of college students today transfer at least once before earning a bachelor’s degree,” the Washington Post reported.
Enrique Rodriguez is one of the many students following this trend.
“In my senior year (of high school), I applied to SDSU and was turned down,” Rodriguez said. “I was never in a rush … but I’m glad I took the community college route.”
At the national level, roughly 80 percent of community college students plan to transfer to a four-year school, according to the Washington Post.
Recent studies, though, show that only 14 percent earn a bachelor’s degree within six years of starting at a community college.
One of the biggest challenges transfer students face may be due to the fact that universities don’t have enough space to accommodate every single qualified student.
D’Ambro confirmed universities aren’t ready to take in the influx of community college transfers.
For the 2016-17 academic year, there were nearly 3,900.
City, Mesa and Miramar students to have transferred to a four-year institution, the San Diego Community College District reported.
SDSU is at the top of most San Diego Community College District students’ lists, simply because the school is local, D’Ambro explained.
The number of students who continue their studies beyond a community college in the San Diego area is rising every year.
To help drive this trend, there have been multiple initiatives launched to help further students’ academic journey.
These initiatives include special agreements and programs with schools around San Diego to better prepare students planning to transfer.
For more information about the services offered at the Transfer Center, visit https://www.sdcity.edu/CollegeServices/StudentSupportResources/TransferServices.aspx or M-101.