This spring, many students are finishing their requirements for transfer to a four-year university. Before transferring, a prepared student should know the difference between the terms “transfer” and “articulation.”
“Articulation is developing a written agreement that identifies courses from one college to another where courses are comparable,” said Dr. Sheila White-Daniels, Articulation Officer at Yuba College. For instance, Yuba College’s Mass Communications 19 articulates to CSU Chico as Journalism 60, and to CSU Sacramento as Journalism 30. However, to all other CSU campuses, the Yuba College class transfers as units only.”We’ve worked with the California State Universities and the Universities of California to make sure that the course will be accepted in lieu of, or comparable to a (a course from) four-year institution. It also works between one community college to another community college,” said White-Daniels.
Transfer is a different matter.
“Transfer is the entire process that must be met to go from a community college to a university,” said Helen Nickolson, Yuba College Counselor and Director of the Transfer Center. “Articulation is the part of transfer that lets people know that the right classes will be taken.”What this means to students is that caution should be taken when registering for courses, as the courses may be transferable, but will not articulate to their major.
“It’s important for students to take courses in their majors at the community college level,” continued White-Daniels, “instead of taking the course later at the UC’s and CSU’s. If the students take a class numbered 49 and lower, it can transfer, but it might not articulate.”The aforementioned numbering system works with articulation with the CSU’s. Articulating to a UC is a different process.
“The CSU’s have agreed that community colleges decide what courses transfer through the numbering system,” said White-Daniels. “With the UC’s, they determine whether they’ll accept the course as transferable.””The Articulation Officer submits the catalog to the UC’s,” elaborated White-Daniels. “Once they’ve sent us the list of what classes are transferable to the UC’s the Articulation Officer goes to the UC’s and articulates with the universities.”
White-Daniels also works with the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities.
“These are independent colleges and universities not affiliated with the UC’s and CSU’s,” explained White-Daniels. “We work with them in the same way as the UC’s, they decide what courses transfer and articulate with the college, determining transferability first.””It’s very similar to the UC’s and CSU’s, except it is not a system,” continued White-Daniels, “We have to work with all 76 colleges and universities individually.”
Transferring can be a difficult process for students, as sometimes students have to decide what’s more important to them: keeping the major they want, or changing their major to go to the university of their choice.
“Let’s say that you go into agriculture, and tell me that you want to go to CSU Sacramento,” explained Nickolson. “Sacramento doesn’t have agriculture classes, so we have to look for who has it. Then we have to look at the specific requirements for that institution.”
“Transferring deals with more than units, though,” said Nickolson. “Someone could transfer to Sacramento State as a Business Administration major, without taking any lower division courses at the community college level. Once they go to Sacramento, they have the required 60 units, but don’t have any lower division courses, so they’re still a freshman in their major.”
An easy way to prevent this possible transfer nightmare is to use resources found online and at the Marysville Campus.
“ASSIST is the online repository for all California college courses,” said White-Daniels. “The website is maintained collaboratively between community colleges and the UC’s and CSU’s. We work with two-year and four-year colleges, updating the site daily on a minute-by-minute basis.” Students may access this service at www.assist.org.
“Other documents are found in the Transfer Center,” continued White-Daniels. The Transfer Center is located in the 100B building. “They have all the articulation agreements,” continued Daniels. The UC Transfer Course Agreement list shows all courses that have been approved by the UC’s. The CSU General Education Breadth is a document you get regarding courses that transfer to CSU’s. The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum is a list of courses that are approved by both UC and CSU systems.”
The Transfer Center website, located at the Yuba College website under “Programs and Services,” contains a wealth of resources.”You can get lots of information on the Transfer Center website,” said Nickolson. “In addition, it has links to get information on basically all colleges and universities, study abroad, financial aid, programs that will help students choose a major, career exploration, and study links for English, Math and other courses.”
“The site has incredible stuff on it,” added Nikolson, “I wish people would use it more. It’s a wonderful resource.”
The Transfer Center also has representatives from CSU Chico, UC Davis and CSU Sacramento appear on campus, as well as bus tours to the three universities. The dates for these events can be found at the Events Calendar in the Transfer Center.
“For people not to take advantage of this is kind of silly,” said Nickolson. “Students don’t have to take the tour on their last year at Yuba College. They can explore at the beginning. Each campus has a different atmosphere, you might or might not like it. You can walk around, get a cup of coffee and get a feeling for that campus.”With information about the transfer and articulation process on campus, students can use the resources to their advantage to ensure a seamless transfer to the university of their choice.
“It’s very important that students understand how important transfer and articulation is to students going to a university,” said White-Daniels. “I hope students get insight for the need to work with counselors. We work on articulation every day, so if something changes, we make the changes as quickly as possible so it will not hurt the students. We work on every course so we can ensure the success of the students transferring to the university of their choice.”
“It’s better to have more information and sift through it than to have none,” said Nickolson. “You have to sift though, and pick up the pieces that apply to you. Students have to remember what works for one person might not work for them. People change their majors many times, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I wish students would ask more questions about the process, like ‘I have no clue about this process, I don’t know what to do, can you help me learn about the process?’ “