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Difficulty transferring, after entry with lots of DE credits?


Innisfree
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Had anyone else encountered this?

Apparently transferring to other state schools requires following a specific plan, including taking certain gen ed classes during the first two years. Dual enrollment credits don't count for that purpose, even though they do satisfy the gen ed requirements at the present school. So, stay at a school that isn't the best fit, or forfeit the advantage of coming in with lots of credits.

Fortunately the present school isn't really bad, just not what had been hoped for. Something others might want to be aware of, though.

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Planning on transferring should always come with awareness of how transfer credits may or may not work toward a degree.  Another issue is that some schools restrict the number of cr hrs allowed toward a degree period.  For example, they may say only 16 cr hrs not earned at their school may be used to fulfill degree requirements.  They may allow the courses to place them into higher level coursework but not reduce the number of hrs required for earning the degree.

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In NC, every single dual-enrollment credit that my boys took counts towards their degree at a state school, but they both took/are taking courses dedicated specifically for college transfer, and the universities are not allowed to say they don't count.  

Furthermore in NC, if a student takes certain outside classes and/or CLEPS that the community college accepts as part of an Associate Degree, then the university also has to except those credits if they are part of the Associates Degree package, even if they wouldn't normally accept them.

All in all, dual-enrollment credits have help/will help both of my boys save thousands and thousands of dollars they would have paid for college classes.   The only drawback is that since many of the DE credits are general electives and/or beginning sequence courses (sciences, math, etc), often a transfer student starts at a 4 year school with a very difficult schedule since there are no "easy" classes left.  This was very difficult for my older son, who started at University with Organic Chem, Genetics, and Physics, all with lab, as well as a required research course.  It made the transfer process a little more difficult and is something worth considering. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Planning on transferring should always come with awareness of how transfer credits may or may not work toward a degree. 

Yes, if transferring had been part of the plan from the beginning, we'd have thought through this ahead of time. It's not an awful situation, just not ideal. The good part is that she's well ahead of the curve in her own department, and spending most of her time there pretty much from the beginning.

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Students planning on transferring often have unrealistic expectations about how the transfer credit will help them.

I am the academic advisor in a physics department. I often deal with transfer students who took two years of gen eds at another college, come to us, having fulfilled all English, humanities, and social science requirements for the degree, and expect to graduate in two years. That is impossible, since the classes in the major are highly sequenced and must be taken in the right order. They still will need almost the full time (depending on math preparation) to complete their physics sequence, but have no non-technical classes left to balance their schedules. Often, they end up taking extra classes that are not required to bring their hours up to full-time student status.

Another consideration is that, even though a class may transfer, the level differs. I have students who took their calculus sequence elsewhere, and they find themselves unprepared for the level of the upper math classes because the coursework at their previous school was not rigorous. I would not recommend that a science student takes math (or the intro classes in their science major) elsewhere unless they have checked with their final college that this is advisable.

I would encourage any student who already knows that they will transfer to another institution to contact the advisor at the college they ultimately plan to attend, so that they can plan the best course of action.

Edited by regentrude
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Just to clarify, dd isn't going to transfer. She decided against that as soon as she seriously looked into it.

She was just frustrated because if she had arrived on campus like any other freshman, without a bunch of gen ed classes already finished, she'd have spent the first semester assessing the place, then made a plan to transfer. Since she'd have been taking gen ed classes anyway, she could have taken the ones which allowed her to transfer. As it is, that would set her back almost two years, so it's better to just keep on where she is.

I take @regentrude's point that there might still be more classes needed at the new school, though, in order to meet their standards and follow the proper sequences.

 

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1 hour ago, Innisfree said:

Just to clarify, dd isn't going to transfer. She decided against that as soon as she seriously looked into it.

She was just frustrated because if she had arrived on campus like any other freshman, without a bunch of gen ed classes already finished, she'd have spent the first semester assessing the place, then made a plan to transfer. Since she'd have been taking gen ed classes anyway, she could have taken the ones which allowed her to transfer. As it is, that would set her back almost two years, so it's better to just keep on where she is.

I take @regentrude's point that there might still be more classes needed at the new school, though, in order to meet their standards and follow the proper sequences.

 

Wouldn't setting her back two years be the same as entering as a freshman without the DE credits?

My eldest two earned  a bunch of credits while in high school (one chose to earn an AA and the other just had over 100 credits) and both still chose to spend four years at university earning their undergraduate degrees. My third dd plans to save one year at university by entering with her AA.

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It depends on the state. In my state, all state schools are supposed to use the same codes for courses so that everything transfers. However, this only applies for general requirements. Some programs may not accept the courses, and some schools offer classes that are not available at another school.

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How frustrating for her. 😩

Yes, understanding the articulation agreement between community college/university, or from one university to another, is crucial to be able to transfer credits.

Our state universities require specific "types" of general ed. courses, even beyond credits in Social Sciences and Natural Sciences. A student also has to take a certain number of credits in each of the general ed. Social Sciences classes that have been classified as: "Individuals and Societies" and "Traditions and Cultures" (??? whatever the heck that means). So while a student transferring in may have plenty of Social Sciences to meet the # required by our state universities, if they are not of the right "flavor", they don't count towards the degree.

If she really prefers a program at another school, and there are more opportunities at another school, it could well be worth transferring now, and taking an extra 2-4 semesters to finish, for the extra opportunities.

Or, she could just plan on getting through as quickly as possible at the current school, and plan on a better-fitting school for a Master's degree...

BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.
 

Edited by Lori D.
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3 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

Planning on transferring should always come with awareness of how transfer credits may or may not work toward a degree.  Another issue is that some schools restrict the number of cr hrs allowed toward a degree period.  For example, they may say only 16 cr hrs not earned at their school may be used to fulfill degree requirements.  They may allow the courses to place them into higher level coursework but not reduce the number of hrs required for earning the degree.

This.  These things vary widely.  You're more likely to get things to transfer into an in-state public, but even then you have to watch which credits will transfer for what reason.  Youngest dd and I paid close attention to this; there's a state website that will tell you which state schools accept which classes for what credit.  There's a CC to state-U program that will take care of your Gen-eds, but yeah, only if you take the right courses that check those boxes.  There's also guaranteed transfer acceptance if you take the right courses and get a certain minimum GPA, but not necessarily into your program of choice.  I was warning dd about this, and she actually figured out that if she changed her CC major to one aligned to her desired 4-year program, she would actually be guaranteed transfer admission to that very hard-to-get-into major, but not if she'd just done a general transfer AA - it had to be a specific AA degree with certain specific courses.  Also, we almost at the last minute found out that I would have to graduate her a semester early from high school, because all of this great transfer guarantees required the student to take at least 12 credits at the CC as a full college student, not DE.   This is literally nowhere in any of the info - we only found out because she visited the 4-year transfer office in person and I made sure one question she asked was "are there any questions we should be asking that we haven't?" and that one exceedingly important piece of information was shared.

So, yeah, pay close attention to the fine print - and every state is different, and the transfer requirements can be different even among different state schools, and if you're going private for a 4-year, all bets are off.   Each one is different - best to contact each one and ask. 

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Here there are specific requirements for transferring to a UC or to a CSU. Courses are demarcated as UC and CSU transferable or CSU transferable. The AS/AA-T (associate degree for transfer) fulfills the CSU requirements. Kids who are undecided which state university they want to apply to would try to aim for courses that would transfer to both UC and CSU. The community colleges transfer office guidance counselors would have more detailed information regarding requirements for each state university and major. 

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Yes, this is good for people to be aware of. Our state has an articulation agreement so that a core of classes (41 credits) automatically transfer, and associate degrees do as well. It works great for humanities majors. However, there can be issues with other types of majors. For example, my daughter is an education major. At the school she transferred to, she was able to transfer her full associates degree and have it count towards her degree. At other schools in our state though, her courses beyond the first 41 would not have counted towards her degree. Some would have transferred only as elective credits, because those schools wanted students to take a very specific sequence of educational classes and had different requirements. So, even in a state with a good solid articulation agreement for dual enrollment and community colleges to 4-year schools, you still have to research and really know how things are going to work. We were going to find a school that took them off and lessened the time she needs for completion. 
 

I hope things get better at your daughter’s school. It’s still early in the semester. Maybe if she gets involved in some kind of group or club, she’ll find a group of students to socialize with. My son’s school is also one where the students tend to go home every weekend, but he got involved in the InterVarsity Christian group and met some good good friends that way. Encourage her to give things time and pursue an interest. It takes time to find one’s people, but I hope she will!

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This was one thing we looked when we looked into each school- and they vary widely!  DDs school accepted everything,  but a few classes transferred as general credits rather than the class they were taken as.  She is taking one now, and I think its even using the same book.  Oh well!  It's an easy credit- she is taking it Honors, and so far the teacher is making it very fun and interesting.  I think DD will benefit from taking it again.  I'm glad she was able to get a full semester of 'freshman' classes, so she's not jumping into the deep stuff!  And after you get there, you realize certain professors are very hard, some classes are 'weed' classes- so glad she isn't taking them this semester!  That first semester needs to be manageable,  time for exploring clubs, friends, your dorm!  

DD2 is in 11th grade, and all the classes offered by our local CC in math do not transfer to a few schools on her list,  so she isn't planning to take one.  I'm trying to be picky about CLEP and DE for this kid, bc she will need to ease into college. 

I learned a lot from DD1s experience,  so I'm trying to be more careful in picking courses.  I do think that for my kids, knocking out English 1 and 2, all history, government, humanities courses, and public speaking, will allow them more freedom in their university time!  Having the option of 12-15 hour semesters vs 15-18 hour semesters takes some pressure off.  DD1 can actually triple major- or get 2 majors and a masters- in her 4 years (and she has a 5th optional year if she wants it).

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48 minutes ago, BusyMom5 said:

This was one thing we looked when we looked into each school- and they vary widely!  DDs school accepted everything,  but a few classes transferred as general credits rather than the class they were taken as.  

You may have checked into this, but I want to add this bit of advice for folks not familiar with how transfer credit works:

Some courses have previously been evaluated, the college has decided they are equivalent, and the registrar's computer knows how to transfer the class.

But some courses have not yet been evaluated before, and the computer doesn't recognize the specific class from this institution; it just records the credit as General Credit.

In this case, you should try to submit a syllabus for the course either to the registrar or to your academic advisor and request that it be evaluated for equivalency to a course that is on the catalog. As an advisor, I handle this quite often. We have the professor who is teaching the class look at the submitted materials and decide whether it's equivalent; if it is, we fill out a form and have the credit converted. 

Always have the advisor at the new school have a close look at the transcript from the previous college if this happens; they may be able to help. 

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On 8/31/2021 at 6:34 AM, regentrude said:

I am the academic advisor in a physics department. I often deal with transfer students who took two years of gen eds at another college, come to us, having fulfilled all English, humanities, and social science requirements for the degree, and expect to graduate in two years. That is impossible, since the classes in the major are highly sequenced and must be taken in the right order. They still will need almost the full time (depending on math preparation) to complete their physics sequence, but have no non-technical classes left to balance their schedules. Often, they end up taking extra classes that are not required to bring their hours up to full-time student status.

I've heard of students at CC who are advised to take their gen eds at CC then start their STEM major at the transfer university.  Bad idea for the reasons above.  If you are interested in transferring to a STEM major, get started on that intro chemistry, math, physics, whatever hard courses at the CC.  As an added bonus, you will often have a smaller class size and better teaching than at university.  (Not always of course.)  

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41 minutes ago, daijobu said:

 If you are interested in transferring to a STEM major, get started on that intro chemistry, math, physics, whatever hard courses at the CC.  As an added bonus, you will often have a smaller class size and better teaching than at university.  (Not always of course.)  

I would be very careful about math.

A number of our students take math elsewhere and transfer the credit in because the courses are easier at the CC. They even tell us. Bad move. If you're STEM, you want tge most rigorous math course you can find. Very often, that is not at the CC.

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DS had a lot of DE credit that transferred but then ended up with the issue that he would need something like a "writing intensive" class that could be in any discipline.  So, he couldn't take the Intro to Psychology course (which was writing intensive) to fulfill the requirement because he already had credit for a course by that name.  And he couldn't take the Senior level anthropology (writing intensive) course  because he didn't have the pre-req courses; he didn't need more freshman and sophomore general ed courses, but would have to take one so that he had the specific requirement for a course an upper level elective.  

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On 8/31/2021 at 9:34 AM, regentrude said:

Students planning on transferring often have unrealistic expectations about how the transfer credit will help them.

I am the academic advisor in a physics department. I often deal with transfer students who took two years of gen eds at another college, come to us, having fulfilled all English, humanities, and social science requirements for the degree, and expect to graduate in two years. That is impossible, since the classes in the major are highly sequenced and must be taken in the right order. They still will need almost the full time (depending on math preparation) to complete their physics sequence, but have no non-technical classes left to balance their schedules. Often, they end up taking extra classes that are not required to bring their hours up to full-time student status.

….

I would encourage any student who already knows that they will transfer to another institution to contact the advisor at the college they ultimately plan to attend, so that they can plan the best course of action.

Yes, all high school students with DE/AP credit should look carefully at the course of study/class transfer table at all the schools the student is considering. I’m a visual learner, so I scratched out the classes that would not be needed. I then looked at pre-req’s for upper level classes to see what could move up. I then reworked the schedule to see what would work. (This is easier at schools where stem students start major classes freshman year)
 

This allowed my stem daughters (pre-covid) to study abroad and/or complete a minor in a non-stem field. It allowed my performance major to add business classes when covid hit while evaluatating if he needed to change majors. (Right now the plan is to stay with the performance major and add a business minor or possibly even a business major.)

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4 hours ago, regentrude said:

I would be very careful about math.

A number of our students take math elsewhere and transfer the credit in because the courses are easier at the CC. They even tell us. Bad move. If you're STEM, you want tge most rigorous math course you can find. Very often, that is not at the CC.

That's probably fair.  My family and I have no personal experience with CC math or any other class, so I only report what I hear.   I know  a lot of homeschoolers locally outsource math to the CC, and they crow about it, but I wonder too about the quality of instruction.  

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5 hours ago, daijobu said:

   I know  a lot of homeschoolers locally outsource math to the CC, and they crow about it, but I wonder too about the quality of instruction.  

It makes sense for hs'ers to outsource math to the CC  because that is often a subject the parent struggles with (my observation with local hs'ers is that almost nobody teaches rigorous math at home.). 

However, I would not recommend that a strong, advanced math student take any class below calculus at the CC. These classes are essentially highschool level classes, and college students who need to take them at college are the ones with weak math skills who couldn't place in calc. The class will be designed for those students and not for an advanced highschool kid.

Of course, there will always be exceptions. 

Edited by regentrude
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4 hours ago, regentrude said:

It makes sense for hs'ers to outsource math to the CC  because that is often a subject the parent struggles with (my observation with local hs'ers is that almost nobody teaches rigorous math at home.). 

However, I would not recommend that a strong, advanced math student take any class below calculus at the CC. These classes are essentially highschool level classes, and college students who need to take them at college are the ones with weak math skills who couldn't place in calc. The class will be designed for those students and not for an advanced highschool kid.

Of course, there will always be exceptions. 

Agree, although I would add the exception of College Algebra s a very valid Math  below Calculus to take at a CC, as that is often the one Math that is required for non-STEM degrees. And, like Writing 101/102, it is VERY frequently accepted by  universities in transfer. So that can be another one to consider taking as DE.

Edited by Lori D.
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4 hours ago, regentrude said:

It makes sense for hs'ers to outsource math to the CC  because that is often a subject the parent struggles with (my observation with local hs'ers is that almost nobody teaches rigorous math at home.). 

However, I would not recommend that a strong, advanced math student take any class below calculus at the CC. These classes are essentially highschool level classes, and college students who need to take them at college are the ones with weak math skills who couldn't place in calc. The class will be designed for those students and not for an advanced highschool kid.

Of course, there will always be exceptions. 

Definitely agree with this. We had an absolutely exceptional Precalc prof at the CC last year, and I have to wonder how they continue to allow him to run such a great class. He covered lots of extra content (even Gauss-Jordan Elimination and other side topics that not all courses get to), and, unfortunately, way more than half of the class failed. The students (often remedial who were not able to start at the CC with calculus) could not manage the pacing as well as the exams. He was amazing as a teacher, but probably a really bad fit for what the students at that level needed. 

Most CC precalc classes are not going to be run in such a rigorous manner that would yield those kind of failure rates!

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24 minutes ago, UmmIbrahim said:

He was amazing as a teacher, but probably a really bad fit for what the students at that level needed. 

 

There were several professors like this at my kids' CC - must be so frustrating for them.  

 

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2 hours ago, Lori D. said:

Agree, although I would add the exception of College Algebra s a very valid Math  below Calculus to take at a CC, as that is often the one Math that is required for non-STEM degrees. 

Sure. But I was specifically talking about strong, advanced highschool students. They would be taking the equivalent of College algebra in 9th or 10th grade. I would still argue that a CC class won't be the best place for them.

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3 hours ago, regentrude said:

Sure. But I was specifically talking about strong, advanced highschool students. They would be taking the equivalent of College algebra in 9th or 10th grade. I would still argue that a CC class won't be the best place for them.

You gave this advice a few years ago, and my son and I very much appreciated it. Thank you again! 

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On 9/2/2021 at 10:54 AM, regentrude said:

Sure. But I was specifically talking about strong, advanced highschool students. They would be taking the equivalent of College algebra in 9th or 10th grade. I would still argue that a CC class won't be the best place for them.

Agree! I wasn't trying to nitpick or put down your great specific suggestion. ;)

I was broadening the conversation to include other students who may be looking at DE for additional reasons. It wasn't clear to me that OP's DC was in a STEM field, so broadening opens the conversation to include a variety of students going into a variety of departments. 😉 

Edited by Lori D.
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20 hours ago, UmmIbrahim said:

Most CC precalc classes are not going to be run in such a rigorous manner that would yield those kind of failure rates!

 

20 hours ago, Kassia said:

There were several professors like this at my kids' CC - must be so frustrating for them.  

 

Dd's calc professor was like this too. In his case, I'm pretty sure it's because the course has to be taught at that level for it to be acceptable as a transfer credit. But it means that very few people can withstand the calc sequence. At a CC campus with 10,000 students, there are two 30 person sections each for Calc 1, 2 and 3. And a lot of those students withdraw or fail.

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On 9/2/2021 at 5:46 PM, Lori D. said:

Agree! I wasn't trying to nitpick or put down your great specific suggestion. ;)

I was broadening the conversation to include other students who may be looking at DE for additional reasons. It wasn't clear to me that OP's DC was in a STEM field, so broadening opens the conversation to include a variety of students going into a variety of departments. 😉 

Interestingly, in my state, statistics is the class a lot of schools want for liberal arts and other non-math/science majors. Some of the schools won’t take college algebra here, though some do. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am late to this thread, I check this board pretty infrequently right now.  But my oldest graduated with a bunch of DE credits.  Some of those credits worked for general eds where he ended up.  But you really need to know your transfer plan ahead of time if you want each and every credit to apply to degree requirements.  

So we do DE for free for 2-3 years (they just added a 3 year option actually, we just missed the boat, my junior started this fall!)  But we always approached those credits to round out our high school curriculum and did not push them to pick a major/path early.  Sometimes choosing early works out.  And sometimes students get a little further down that path and realize it isn't for them.  I know a number of families who regret sending their kid down a very specific career path super early.  I also know young grads that had a harder time getting hired because they didn't have the confidence of someone a few years older and/or didn't build up an internship experience and relationships with strong references on campus an older student would.  That can close the door to grad school options to if that is on the table. 

 I think you need to weigh your options pretty carefully with a younger teen.  I've always been in favor of giving my kids the advantage of a full long childhood to continue to reinvent themselves even though academically they have been college ready for some time.  Having the free DE option and some good local peer groups definitely helped make that possible.  

I have a BS in math (and comp sci) and have never been super excited about math through the CC.  My oldest is doing a tech degree and has launched to high level math with very high grades and no huge issues and math was the one thing we always did at home.  

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