Transfer to City College – With Caution

Illustration by Belinda Mendoza

Illustration by Belinda Mendoza

Natalie Hanson

I am what seems to be a rare occurrence – a transfer student between junior colleges – and I discovered that transferring to City College is much more difficult than one might think.

Last fall, I was in my third semester at Butte Community College in Chico, Calif., and decided to move here to attend San Diego State University. But before doing that, I needed to finish my general education at City College.

In theory, all I needed to do was register as early as possible, request my transcripts, get my Reg-E date and add the classes I needed but a prerequisite warning on Reg-E froze my enrollment.

When I reached out to an Administration and Records staff member she implied it was my fault that my records were not updated despite the fact the department had received them from Butte College.

My transcripts were not evidence enough. They told me that I “should have known” that and “should have been prepared” and to send by AP score for English and new grades from math class as proof before attempting to enroll in any class.

I mailed the deparment my score and they told me it would take up to three weeks after the registration period to update my information, and only after that, I would be able to add any class.

She coldly informed me that since I was not there in person, there was nothing the college could do to help me, and I had to wait.

I met with a Butte counselor and she contacted an Administration and Records employee to speak to another counselor but she refused to speak to me or her.

The only option available was walking in with my AP score on my first Monday in San Diego to get help from a counselor.

Apparently, City College does not accept faxed or emailed documents, even in these situations. So I had no choice but to wait.

When I arrived in San Diego on Monday, Dec. 21, the campus was closed for winter break. I ended up registering for what I could.

I am resigned to attending one more semester at a community college before transferring, and I’m taking fewer units than I had expected to this semester, just two classes.

The college’s Admissions employees ignored the special circumstances of my situation and they discarded options that could have quickly fixed it.

There was no reason why this transfer had to be so difficult.

City College should offer more options to help transfer students like meThese include accepting faxes and emailed documents when students are coming from a distance, being open to speaking with the students’ home college counselor to confirm that students’ records are updated and that they have the prerequisites needed, and being open to working in a situation in which students are waiting for grades.

They should be prepared to handle transfers efficiently that way students like me don’t have to experience a delay in their education.

Transferring to a university is hard enough. The first step toward that goal, attending community college, should be as simple a process as possible.