By Hannah Davis
The Counseling Center, located on the second floor of the Student Center, provides academic advising for students who plan to transfer to another institution.
“We work with a student who has just come in to determine what courses to take,” counselor Amy Warner said. “We help them figure out how that coursework fits with their plan, whether that course work is undecided, or if it’s something very specific. We talk about what options they have with a specific interest. […]That’s the piece of academic advising that we do. We work with somebody prior to becoming a student, first semester and then throughout their time here.”
The main roadblock that students run into during the transfer process, according to Warner, is that certain courses they may have completed at the college don’t always transfer to the school they’re considering.
“First thing the student needs to know is, when you’re considering transferring, […] you need to understand that certain courses transfer for certain majors and certain schools,” Warner said. “I always tell students, two main things determine what I advise you to take: what major you’re considering and what schools you’re considering, because a degree in general, doesn’t transfer overall.”
Parker Fitzmaurice, a student at the college, met with a counselor for advice to transfer to the University of Kansas.
“They showed me what kind of degrees KU offers and helped me see what interests me, and what’s required and prerequisites needed,” he said. “I’m planning on getting a business degree.”
The counseling center offers ‘transfer guides’ to different colleges or universities, which list the courses offered at the college that will transfer and fulfill requirements.
“The research that we have are these fantastic guides that are formal agreements between JCCC and the receiving school, and it’s a course by course evaluation,” Alicia Bredehoeft, faculty chair for the counseling center, said. “So whether it’s an agreement with Ottawa, or Pitt State, or an agreement with another institution, that institution is going to go above and beyond to make sure that our students have a seamless transition. That agreement is basically a ‘formal, gentlemen’s handshake’ that these two institutions are going to partner to the best interests of the students.”
These guides are updated almost every semester for clarity and accuracy.
About 60 percent of the college’s students intend to transfer to a four year university, and both Warner and Bredehoeft encourage students to utilize the counseling center.
“I would also hope that students would take the time to come in,” Warner said. “Not every student visits with us, and we find students who are close to the end and they will have taken what they thought was a list of requirements and then we end up telling them ‘okay, well you have all these other things you need to take to transfer, but these other things you have taken may not.’”
All the counselors are available by appointment, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and by walk-in Wednesdays. They provide not only academic advising, but personal and career counseling as well.
“When you talk about transfer, our goal is to see what the individual needs are, see what their education goals are, help them to find those goals, and partner with the career center to help them effectively figure out what their strengths are,” Bredehoeft said. ”Then [we] put together that academic plan to empower and encourage them to get engaged beyond the classroom to verify ‘is this the discipline or the career path that I want to go?’”
Contact Hannah Davis, news editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org