Transfer students discuss how they cope by Diona Phoenix
At the beginning of each school year, City College welcomes back thousands of returning students and greets hordes of new freshman. According to “City Facts,” a page of statistics located on the City College website, City College also introduces nearly 1,000 new transfer students each year.
Transfer students often encounter a number of hardships upon entering their new school. Not only do they have to deal with a change of pace and environment, they also have to worry about making new friends and finding their way around campus. However, the biggest concern many transfer students seem to have is making sure that all the eligible credits from their previous college transfer over.
CUNY has been trying to improve
transfer procedures for years. Last semester administrators engaged in heated debate over the “Pathway Project,” CUNY’s most recent effort to make the transfer process for students who are transferring from one CUNY school to another more efficient. With the Pathway Project the number of “core curriculum” credits required for all CUNY schools is limited to 42, which many critics argue will lower the standards and lessen the value of the CUNY education.
At the start of the summer, the CUNY board of trustees agreed on a “common core” required by all CUNY campuses that consists of 30 credits and an additional “college option” of 12 credits to be determined by each separate college. Students
who transferred between CUNY schools this semester may not have gotten the chance to reap the benefits of this resolution, but opponents believe the resolution will help make the transfer process run smoother in the long run.
In the meantime, transfer students
know that the road ahead of them will be rough, so they find ways to cope. “When I transferred to City College, I was sure to have the same difficulties of a freshman,” says Adesuwa Iyokho, a 19-year-old transfer student from CUNY City Tech, who is now in her 3rd year of college. “City College is much larger than City Tech so I feel like I’m just part of a big “crowd” walking around campus and in and out of lecture halls.” Shakeena Marshall, 22, had a similar opinion of City College when she first transferred here from Long Island University C.W. Post in 2009. “At first I felt scared when I started City College. It was such a big campus with so many people,” she says. However, after attending a few events and joining student organizations Marshall says she began to feel more comfortable on campus.
”‘Welcome Back’ was one of the first events I went to on campus. This was where I learned about the student radio station. After joining the radio station I was able to fit in pretty quickly.”
While getting adjusted to a new campus, transfer students spend a good amount of time in administrative offices trying to get their records and transfer credits in order. “My previous school wasn’t as big as City College; it was kind of a small private college. The administration procedures were not great there, however after coming to City College I saw that I was blessed at my old school,” says Marshall, who was less than pleased with her transfer process. “All of my credits did not transfer over. City claimed they didn’t fit into any of their curriculum so they just threw them out like I never did it.”
In contrast, Adesuwa Iyokho has had
a better experience transferring into City College as far as dealing with administration goes. “City College’s administrative procedure is much faster and more direct than at CUNY City Tech,” she says. Iyokho is also seeing some success in getting her credits transferred over. However, like Shakeena Marshall and plenty of other transfer students, some credits prove to be more difficult than others to hold on to. “Some of my credits are still pending to be accepted by City College. For Instance, my credits for Math, Chemistry, and Biology are still pending, however, some of the 3 credit liberal arts courses I took were officially transferred.”
While it’s unlikely that
transfers get to keep all of their credits, students like Adesuwa Iyokho who are planning to transfer between can actually get help by using the Transfer Information and Program Planning System or “TIPPS” online. Here you can see all of the college courses offered at each of the CUNY schools, research course equivalencies and view all of CUNY’s transfer policies.
Although the transfer process can be
daunting at first, mostCity College transfer students remain open-minded about their future here at City. Two years after transferring to City College, Shakeena Marshall who is studying psychology and planning to continue on to med school, says she’s proud to be a CCNY student. “I love my friends and I enjoy most of my classes,” she says. “ The professors are great, most of them, and I love the environment here. It makes me feel excited and rejuvenated walking onto the campus. I just hope they do something about administrative procedures though, because that part really sucks!”
As for Adesuwa Iyokho, a c
omputer s cience major, her attitude is positive as well. “My outlook on my future at CCNY seems to be a bright sunny day with no chance of rain, she says. “ In other words, I am eager, enthusiastic, excited and definitely anticipate my future at City College. I look forward to experiencing what this ‘poor man’s Harvard’ has to offer.”