The transfer process in higher education can be difficult and confusing. As a freshman at LaGuardia Community College, my experience during the pandemic has not been pleasant — especially when it comes to preparing to transfer colleges. My plan was to transfer to another college that was closer to my job. I tried to make an appointment with one of my college transfer advisors and had to wait a whole month in order for me to speak to one. By the time I finally saw a counselor, I was told transferring would mean I would lose most of my credits. I decided to stay at my college, rather than take that risk.
As young people, we are advocating for a much clearer and smoother transfer process in which all of the credits that we had taken can be transferred to our next path. In addition, there are a great number of students that are unaware of some programs that schools offer, due to a lack of counseling and programs that help explain the transfer process. We need new policies to make the process fair for students. One way to make transferring a better process is to allow previous work experience to count for college credit. Internships and other work experience should count for credits. Another way is to invest in academic counselors and programs that help college students transfer successfully. Even if there are multiple pathways to college completion, the transition from one institution to another is not always easy, which is why having more advisors that guide through the process could lift a weight off of students’ shoulders. Especially during the pandemic, we need more counselors to help us through this process.
Nikaury Urena is a CUNY-LaGuardia Community College student, and a Spring 2021 Young Advocate with YI-New York.