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s/o: PSA: CC + transfer does not always equal "2+2"


regentrude
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Making this a spin-off since it is off-topic for the original thread. I feel I really need to address the term "2+2" option  that @Lori D. used in the other thread.

Taking 2 years at CC with the expectation to take 2 years to graduate from the 4 year school may work for some degrees; however, it will usually not be "2+2" for science and engineering degrees that are heavily sequenced! I regularly advise transfer students who took all their gen eds at CC and who are disappointed that this saves them barely any time on their physics degrees.

The reason is that the CC courses rarely include calculus based physics and higher math, and so the students have all their gen eds out of the way, but start the math and science sequence from the beginning at the 4 year school. 

If you are planning to have your student start at CC with the expectation to save time, it is essential that you consult the degree plan at the terminal college, and if possible have a discussion with an academic advisor. That will give you a clearer picture whether the expectation of faster graduation is realistic, and saves your student a lot of disappointment.

Off my soapbox. But happy to answer further questions.

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In California, if a student wants to save some money and knows which major they want, the most viable option is to tell the guidance counselor they are aiming for an AA/S-T which is an associate degree for transfer. We also have Assist which helps map which courses are transferable for each state university.

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3 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

In California, if a student wants to save some money and knows which major they want, the most viable option is to tell the guidance counselor they are aiming for an AA/S-T which is an associate degree for transfer. We also have Assist which helps map which courses are transferable for each state university.

Would your CC offer coursework advanced enough to satisfy the first two years of a STEM degree?

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11 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Would your CC offer coursework advanced enough to satisfy the first two years of a STEM degree?

They have calculus based physics and also multivariable calculus, linear algebra and discrete maths. 
 

Photo is a screenshot from running the query on the assist website for physics major. The left column is a state university while the right column is a community college 

5E7ED326-3EFD-40F5-80ED-9538DB4EE5F7.thumb.jpeg.d3e582713c074c0d1c26b2bff20905f5.jpeg

ETA:

Calc BC score satisfy Math 1A & 1B. Physics C scores (both exams) satisfy Phys 4A and 4B. This CC is on a quarter system 

Edited by Arcadia
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My middle child did three years at the community college and then two at a private four year school.  It did take some planning but all the classes transferred just fine.  Because of articulation agreements between the California Community Colleges and the University of California and California State University systems there isn’t a problem.  
If UC Berkeley and UC Los Angeles take that class for credit, then the other schools follow.  

The major issue was that he took four semesters of extremely heavy duty computer science.  There was no time to spread them out.  He had all the Calculus and Differential Equations and science electives and other electives, he needed upper division computer science classes.  The good news was that those classes were pretty interchangeable and not sequenced.  

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9 minutes ago, regentrude said:

@Arcadia is that standard for CCs in CA? Many of the CCs here don't offer that level. And I haven't ever seen a transfer from CC who had the 4th semester physics classes.

I have no idea. There are 116 community colleges in California. I am residing in Silicon Valley.

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I live close-ish to @regentrude and I agree that caution is necessary. Just because there is a transfer agreement in place does not mean that it will transfer as anything beyond a general elective. Then your student can find themselves having to take all heavy courses in order to remain a full-time student. The community college advisors are usually pretty clear about this, but they are also giving people so much information it can sometimes slip by.

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Our CC does offer the math and physics for STEM degrees but not the computer courses if a student is going into a computer-related field.  Ds2 completed all of his core/math/science at the CC in two years as DE but still took four years to graduate due to the sequencing of the CS/engineering classes.  He probably could have done it in 3 1/2 years but chose not to.  

 

 

Edited by Kassia
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Thx for sharing that, @regentrude. Always good to see the range of options, and to know about potential pitfalls.

In answer to your question:
Yes, the 2 + 2 option DOES work here in our state for Engineering degrees, as our CC has an articulation agreement with the state universities, and it can be done in 4 years, with half of the credits coming from the CC. In fact, many people suggest taking all of the Calculus levels of math required for Engineering at the CC, as the classes are much smaller, have the same content as the state university's classes, and are taught by actual instructors rather than TAs from other countries who are working to pay for their post-graduate degree.

I know that the 2 + 2 option works for at least STEM degrees in our state, because DS#1 went back for his 2nd degree (BS in Mech. Eng.), and started at the CC again to knock out the first half of his degree at a much cheaper tuition cost than the local university.

It's really going to vary widely on the quality of your state's CCs, what their agreements are with 4-year universities, how top tier the university is, and how many credits will actually transfer. So each individual is going to have to do their research on whether that 2 + 2 option will work for THEM and for the degree they want.

Edited by Lori D.
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37 minutes ago, SusanC said:

I live close-ish to @regentrude and I agree that caution is necessary. Just because there is a transfer agreement in place does not mean that it will transfer as anything beyond a general elective.

This sounds like something that varies widely depending where you live. It’s definitely good advice for people to be aware of it and check into what transfers and what it transfers as. We are also in a location as Lori described right above this where there are very clear agreements in place with state universities to transfer many classes so that they don’t have to be repeated at the University. Almost everything my kids took at CC transferred as the same or almost the same at the state Universities. The websites for both the CCs and state universities have a place to look up exactly which class the CC will be considered equivalent to at the University. In the case of physics, for example, the full 100 level series for physics majors is available from the CC and transfers as equivalent to the same classes at the University, but only one of the 200-level classes does. The others give generic physics credits and the department will evaluate the CC syllabus for the class to determine if it meets any requirements. 

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18 minutes ago, KSera said:

 there are very clear agreements in place with state universities to transfer many classes so that they don’t have to be repeated at the University. ..

 The websites for both the CCs and state universities have a place to look up exactly which class the CC will be considered equivalent to at the University. 

yes, but that was not what I meant.  @SusanC: My point was not classes not transferring and students having to repeat them. (that happens too, but is easier to figure out with the transfer credit databases available on the websites.)

Most of the transfer students I advise are not aware of the sequenced nature of the STEM degrees. They think in terms of credit hours - they think if they take four semesters worth of classes, that means they only have to take four semesters at uni.

They are not aware that they cannot take a full-time load of just physics courses concurrently because some are prerequisites for others, and they also don't realize that some upper level courses are only offered once a year and not in both semesters. 

Always consult the sample schedules for the degrees at the terminal institution. I am thrilled for all the students of posters for whom it worked - but I am seeing too many disappointed transfers.

Edited by regentrude
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Here's the list of courses for Engineering majors. Note that it is listed in SEQUENCE, BY SEMESTER. I pulled this list from the university's website, but it is also clearly listed in the required sequence and semester at the CC's website as well, so students KNOW what they need to take and WHEN. This info is clearly labeled on both the CC and the university websites so transfer students do NOT get tripped up:

FIRST SEMESTER
CC course --> transfers to 4-year University to fulfill degree requirement courses:
MAT 220   --> MATH125 = Calculus I
CHM151I  --> CHEM151 = General Chemistry I
WRT101   --> ENGL101 = 1st year Comp, 1st semester
ENG102   --> ENGR102 = Engineering 102
AGEC-S* --> Tier 1 Gen. Ed.
* = choice of humanities from the specific transfer list

SECOND SEMESTER
CC course --> transfers to 4-year University to fulfill degree requirement courses:
MAT 231   --> MATH129 = Calculus 2
ENG105IN--> AME105 = Intro to MATLAB, 1st semester
ENG175IN--> ECE175 = Computer Programming
PHY210IN--> PHYS141 = Intro to Mechanics
WRT102   --> ENGL102 = 1st year Comp, 2nd semester
AGEC-S* --> Tier 1 Gen. Ed.
* = choice of humanities from the specific transfer list

THIRD SEMESTER
CC course --> transfers to 4-year University to fulfill degree requirement courses:
ENG210   --> CE214 = Statics
MAT241   --> MATH223 = Vector Calculus
PHY216IN--> OHYS241 = Intro to Electricity
----           --> ABE221 = Intro to Computing
AGEC-S* --> Tier 1 Gen. Ed.
* = choice of humanities from the specific transfer list

FOURTH SEMESTER
CC course --> transfers to 4-year University to fulfill degree requirement courses:
ENG232   --> AME230 Thermodynamics
ENG220   --> AME250 Dynamics
MAT262   --> MATH254 Intro to Ordinary Differential Equations
ENG260   --> ECE207 = Elements of Electrical Engineering
ENG205IN--> AME205 Intro to MATLAB, 2nd semester
AGEC-S* --> Tier 1 Gen. Ed.
* = choice of humanities from the specific transfer list

FIFTH & SIXTH SEMESTERS:
AGEC-S* --> only ONE Tier 2 Gen. Ed. in each of those semesters transfers from the CC
* = choice of humanities from the specific transfer list

SEVENTH & EIGHTH SEMESTERS:
University courses only (no CC transfer courses), a total of 12 Engineering required courses & technical electives mostly 400 level, a few 300 level.


Many students shuffle those 5th & 6th Gen. Ed. courses earlier in the line up (in the first 4 semesters), as there are about 3 of the Engineering core courses in those first 4 semesters that are NOT prerequisites for future courses, or that can be taken concurrently with other Engineering courses.

No doubt about it -- Engineering IS a stout degree, as it requires 128 credits (many other degrees only require 120 credits), which means most semesters are running at 16-18 credits of heavy-duty math and engineering subjects.

So yes, it often does take an extra semester to complete the Engineering degree. I know several local homeschoolers who start taking some of the transferable CC courses in that list above as dual enrollment in 11th or 12th grades, so they can reduce those credit-heavy semesters to a more manageable amount, and graduate in 4 years.
 

Edited by Lori D.
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13 minutes ago, regentrude said:

... but I am seeing too many disappointed transfers.

That's too bad.
 

13 minutes ago, regentrude said:

...Always consult the sample schedules for the degrees at the terminal institution..

That's always important for ANY transfer student. Thanks for posting that good reminder.
 

Edited by Lori D.
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@Lori D. that looks great. I am glad your CC has the path labeled this clearly - and has the coursework available for the students!
This is how it should be.

I think this is especially important since CC is often the route for students who have less of a family background to help in navigating college. So the logistics and advising should be especially clear at CC. Some CC's drop the ball spectacularly in that respect... don't get me started

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Just now, regentrude said:

...the logistics and advising should be especially clear at CC. Some CC's drop the ball spectacularly in that respect... 

Totally agree.

Fortunately DS had his primary advisor of ME with my mad researching skills to make sure he was getting everything he needed and in the correct sequence and semester offered. I just considered his CC advisor as "back-up". 😉 

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1 minute ago, Lori D. said:

Fortunately DS had his primary advisor of ME with my mad researching skills to make sure he was getting everything he needed and in the correct sequence and semester offered. I just considered his CC advisor as "back-up". 😉 

my son's gf is the first in her family to complete CC. The logistics were a disaster. My DS helped her a lot, made a spreadsheet for her two year plan, helped her figure out the paperwork and everything... it took the CC a year and a half to process her financial aid! We're talking Pell Grant eligible- so it was a real financial hardship! I was so angry.

CC should lower the entry barriers for disadvantaged students and make it easy to figure out college. It opened my eyes how uneven the playing field is - not just with respect to money, but how much of an edge kids have whose parents know how college works. It is a disgrace.

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6 minutes ago, regentrude said:

my son's gf is the first in her family to complete CC. The logistics were a disaster. My DS helped her a lot, made a spreadsheet for her two year plan, helped her figure out the paperwork and everything... it took the CC a year and a half to process her financial aid! We're talking Pell Grant eligible- so it was a real financial hardship! I was so angry.

CC should lower the entry barriers for disadvantaged students and make it easy to figure out college. It opened my eyes how uneven the playing field is - not just with respect to money, but how much of an edge kids have whose parents know how college works. It is a disgrace.

Yikes! What a horror story!

And yes, CC should make it easy. So sorry that was not the case with your CC.

I am profoundly grateful that the 2 CC systems in our state are both extremely easy to navigate, very welcoming, and VERY helpful to disadvantaged students, as well as homeschoolers doing dual enrollment.

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29 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

. I know several local homeschoolers who start taking some of the transferable CC courses in that list above as dual enrollment in 11th or 12th grades, so they can reduce those credit-heavy semesters to a more manageable amount, and graduate in 4 years.
 

That is my teens intent, especially for my DS16. 

21 minutes ago, regentrude said:

@Lori D. that looks great. I am glad your CC has the path labeled this clearly - and has the coursework available for the students!
This is how it should be.

I think this is especially important since CC is often the route for students who have less of a family background to help in navigating college. So the logistics and advising should be especially clear at CC. Some CC's drop the ball spectacularly in that respect... don't get me started

At the community college my kids chose, there is a transfer center dedicated to students who intend to transfer. When a student says that they have intentions to transfer, the general guidance counselor would advise them to go to the guidance counselors at the transfer center. 

12 minutes ago, regentrude said:

my son's gf is the first in her family to complete CC. The logistics were a disaster. My DS helped her a lot, made a spreadsheet for her two year plan, helped her figure out the paperwork and everything... it took the CC a year and a half to process her financial aid! We're talking Pell Grant eligible- so it was a real financial hardship! I was so angry.

CC should lower the entry barriers for disadvantaged students and make it easy to figure out college. It opened my eyes how uneven the playing field is - not just with respect to money, but how much of an edge kids have whose parents know how college works. It is a disgrace.

Thankfully, we have the college promise program here which allows for two years of free tuition at the community college regardless of family income. The community college my kids are attending also allows high school kids to take 2 credits per quarter free. My slower child can only handle two credits per quarter so we aren’t paying a cent for his dual enrollment classes. We pay for his textbooks since we could afford but he could have borrowed the school’s copy for the entire quarter.

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My dd did a 2+2 CC/flagship, with the CC years actually being more like 3 and mostly DE, so she graduated with her Bachelor's in Accounting at 20. 

But it's not at all a given that that works.  A 'regular' liberal arts transfer degree will only get you out of GenEds.  If you want to graduate with a specific major in just 2 more years, it's doable, but you have to take a specific CC degree which is aligned with the 4-year and gets you out of not just GenEds, but the freshman/sophomore pre-Reqs for the upper-level major classes.  Once you get to the 4-year, you pretty much have to take all major classes for 2 years to finish up - even then there isn't a lot of space for electives.  

As a DE student, there was one more hoop that we almost missed - since the transfer programs are meant for college students, not DE high-school students, to be eligible for the program the last 12 credits have to be taken as a college student.  We figured this out just in time and I graduated her a semester early so her last semester at CC was no longer DE.

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In Indiana there are true 2+2 degrees- it came in years ago when a statewide college became a community college (Ivy Tech)- but it is specific programs/ colleges.

Students do need to know where they are going when they begin.

It’s not “take two years of gen eds then transfer”. It’s also not with Purdue West Lafayette or IU Bloomington. It’s mostly regional state schools or privates. ETA- It looks like West Lafayette does have articulation agreements now (transfer as a junior).

https://catalog.purdue.edu/preview_entity.php?catoid=14&ent_oid=4106&hl="articulation+agreement"&returnto=search#tsap-transfer-statewide-articulation-pathways-

https://ctas.iupui.edu/transfer/2-2/index.html

https://www.ivytech.edu/28243.html

Edited by MamaSprout
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I have ran into this with both of my HS kids.  Our CC is fine for English and humanities, okay for science or math first year courses, but I can only get 1.5 years, 30-40 semester hours for their degrees.  The issue is sequenced classes that start sophomore year for their chosen degree.  For oldest, its MIS classes that are very specific and must be taken before any upper level course.   For second kid, its language development classes.  It may be possible to cover a prerequisite over the summer of transfer, but it can be hard to figure it all out.  I make spreadsheets for all degree possibilities at the school they choose, and try to read ahead and be sure of sequenced courses.  

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6 hours ago, regentrude said:

Would your CC offer coursework advanced enough to satisfy the first two years of a STEM degree?

My local one does, but I’m in a good size city. Adult engineers I know who started at the local CC and then transferred to the state university here with the most well known engineering program were able to finish in the same amount time as if they had started at the university. They saw the biggest benefits to be saving money and generally having smaller, more well taught intro level courses.

The CC offers Multivariate calculus, linear algebra, differentials equations, organic chemistry, calculus based physics, etc.

On the other hand, the small state university near us does not offer either physics or chemistry majors, so only offers service level courses needed for other majors. So organic chemistry, but not physical chemistry, for example.

Edited by Frances
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This can happen with education degrees too. Not so much because of sequencing per se, though that plays a role, but also because the requirements are so tightly scripted and may be specific to the school. Our state has an articulation agreement, but if one isn’t careful, a lot of classes could end up as meaningless elective transfer credits rather than going toward a degree. In education, there is zero room for miscellaneous electives. Some schools were more willing to work with us than others, but the variance was 60-80 credits left to take, depending on the school, after completing an Associates degree. It did take some extra legwork and an in person visit to work things out with requirements and also getting a sequence change approved to make everything work. I definitely needed to be the go-between advisor and do a lot of research, or it would have cost an extra year at the uni, which wasn’t really affordable for us. Cc was a great option for my kids, but did require me to be hands on!

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10 hours ago, regentrude said:

@Arcadia is that standard for CCs in CA? Many of the CCs here don't offer that level. And I haven't ever seen a transfer from CC who had the 4th semester physics classes.

This is standard for the two California community colleges near my house, except for the last semester of physics. The full year of organic chemistry too. In fact, engineering students from the local state university take many of these at the CC because their own classes are so horribly impacted. My STEM-heavy kiddo has had so much opportunity thanks to CA CC’s.

Edited by rzberrymom
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My dd is doing DE at a 4 year, and for engineering there is no way she would be able to go in with two years of transferable credits, even through the DE school also has engineering. Between ABET accreditation and schools wanting their particular courses, It's hard to take in more than a year's worth of courses. We've been super selective in what we've had her take as DE, and still have an AP exams for the spring that would count at school A, but not at school B. In her case, she would have better options if we were closer to the state CC- they do have some of the upper level Gen Eds/ classes for minor that her DE 4 year doesn't have. Calc 3 and Linear would transfer better as well, too. As it is, she's mostly out of things to take for DE.

Edited by MamaSprout
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There are several good points in this thread. 

Time enrolled at a CC doesn't always result in progress towards completion of a specific major or degree. 

Some programs are not very sequential and others have very specific sequences and prerequisites (not only of course completion but of min grades).

Information is probably available, but might take effort to seek out and understand. Students may need to be familiar with program requirements at their home institution, major and graduation requirements at the target college, memos of understanding and articulation agreements. They might need to communicate with the CC transfer advisor and also transfer advisors at the 4 year college. For busy students who don't know who to reach out to or feel embarrassed to ask questions this can be tough. 

Some of us are comfortable pulling 4 year course plans and graduation requirements and transfer agreements and cross-referencing to course offerings. Many students walking into CC are surprised that they can pick all their own classes and don't always realize that a full load doesn't always mean progress towards their goal.

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This is a very good thread, and a lot of valuable points have been shared.  I will add one more that I don't think has been mentioned, and that's that even if a tech transfer student is able to complete the desired degree in four years, it can be hard because all the "easy" classes have already been satisfied at the community college, leaving all the upper level courses with nothing lighter to break them up.  My son is majoring in bio, minoring in chem, and his first year he was in a scholarship program specifically for transfer students in STEM fields.  At a roundtable at the end of the first year, one of the common things the students in the program mentioned was how hard it was to transfer and have only the difficult classes left to take. Had my son started out at the 4-year school as a freshman, the sequence of courses was planned to allow at least one liberal arts/elective type of class per semester.  For the transfer students coming in with an Associate Degree from a NC College, all of the liberal arts requirements were automatically waved -- they were transferred in as a package deal from the CC, so he had none left to take.  Starting off as a junior transfer student with a full schedule of sciences with labs can be very difficult.    Anyhow, we have no regrets about taking the CC to 4.5 year path. 😄 It has saved a heap of money -- basically, no student loans for the first 2 years, and that's worth a lot.  My older son is going one extra semester, but he picked up a chem minor along the way and is doing a heavy research load, so we're OK with that. My younger son will be transferring into a mechanical engineering program, and he will probably need 3 more years, but given that the schools generally recommend 9 semesters for engineers anyhow, that's only an extra semester, and our hope is for him to co-op for a semester or two, so it might take longer still.  My older son will graduate with about $18,000 in student loans, and it would have been way more than that if he hadn't taken the CC route.

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11 hours ago, MerryAtHope said:

...Cc was a great option for my kids, but did require me to be hands on!

@MerryAtHope! So nice to "see" you. 😄

Would love an update on what your adult kids are doing these days! It is always so nice to hear from others with kids who did not do the straight-to-4-year-university-after-high-school route. 😄 

Edited by Lori D.
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15 minutes ago, Serenade said:

... I will add one more that I don't think has been mentioned, and that's that even if a tech transfer student is able to complete the desired degree in four years, it can be hard because all the "easy" classes have already been satisfied at the community college, leaving all the upper level courses with nothing lighter to break them up...

Well, yes and no. Depends on the college. The course sequence for Engineering at our local university just IS tough. All but 2 of the "easy" gen. ed. classes are scheduled in the first 2 years, with the 3rd and 4th years scheduled for only 2 remaining gen. ed. courses pushed into 18-credit semesters with all only upper level "hard" courses. Students who can knock out those 2 remaining gen. ed courses earlier are able to lighten the overall course load down to "just" 15-16 credits of upper level Engineering courses. Which is marginally easier than a total of 18 credits in a semester (15-16 credits of "hard" Engineering courses AND a 3-credit "easier" gen. ed. course -- which sometimes can be a "writing intensive" course, so time-consuming in a different way).

Agreeing with you -- it is much more typical to go 4.5 years to complete the Engineering degree, to spread out that heavy load a little bit.
 

1 5 minutes ago, Serenade said:

... My son is majoring in bio, minoring in chem, and his first year he was in a scholarship program specifically for transfer students in STEM fields... My older son is going one extra semester, but he picked up a chem minor along the way and is doing a heavy research load... My older son will graduate with about $18,000 in student loans, and it would have been way more than that if he hadn't taken the CC route...

... My younger son will be transferring into a mechanical engineering program, and he will probably need 3 more years, but given that the schools generally recommend 9 semesters for engineers anyhow, that's only an extra semester...

Congrats to your older DS with scholarships and about to graduate in Bio & Chem -- and with so little debt! And BEST of luck to younger DS as he transfers to Mech Eng. (Our DS#1 -- details in my post above -- just graduated with BS in Mech Eng. in December and is VERY happily working full time at the small firm he interned with last summer/during the fall semester.)

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@Serenade my husband who has a phd in electrical engineering suffered through the gen ed in engineering. He would have loved the option to take those as dual enrollment in high school but that was not an option in our country of origin.  Our gen ed for engineering school were Economics, Financial Accounting, Law (of torts), Sociology, Human Resource Management (and operation research) for all fields of engineering. Postgraduate was easy for him. 

ETA: no credit is given for AP/IB scores either in my country of origin. 

Edited by Arcadia
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I really agree with the idea that some states make this much easier than others. 

I'm constantly surprised that calculus based physics, multivariable calculus, etc. are not standard at the "good" CC's in some states. I know it's the case, but these are common courses around me as well.

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One other thing, at my DDs school engineering students are strongly recommended (meaning required without saying so) to do a co-op.  Its a lot easier to go in as a Freshman or sophomore and get contacts, then start the co-op Junior year.  My DD isn't required to co-op, but she's considering it.  With so many kids doing AP, DE and CLEP for gen eds, that time comes up fast!  If she decides, she will apply spring of her second year there!

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I would have loved to have no Gen Ed classes to take in college.   I took precisely two hours of classes that weren't required for my Physics BS, and I took 140 or 141 hours.   There were some hidden required courses because they required some classes that had prereq.'s that weren't required.   So, paring down to just math and physics classes would have been lovely and allowed me to intern in the summer rather than take summer classes.  
Could have totally made my early career much better.   

But, yes, it still would have taken 4 years.  

I also found that the Gen. Ed classes took a larger percentage of my time than they were worth to me.  

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6 hours ago, Lori D. said:

@MerryAtHope! So nice to "see" you. 😄

Would love an update on what your adult kids are doing these days! It is always so nice to hear from others with kids who did not do the straight-to-4-year-university-after-high-school route. 😄 

Aw, thanks! I always like reading your updates too. Oldest took a year off between CC and 4-year school to work and figure out what he wanted to do. I was so glad he chose something liberal-arts oriented so that all of his credits transferred! Covid did interfere with what he could take and when unfortunately, but he graduated in Media Studies in December and is working as an independent contractor in film editing. He’s also looking for a part time job on the side until he gets more clients, though he may be busier this summer as one business looks to expand.
 

Youngest started out at the CC in pre-nursing, got her CNA, and then switched to Early Childhood Ed. That did extend her stay at the CC a bit! Also, one semester she attended 3 schools, thanks to Covid online options and her transfer school changing up a sequence! We initially looked at 4 schools, but 3 of them would have required an extra semester to a year and just were not feasible. We finally were able to finagle a path at the 4th that transferred 62 credits though. Thankfully she loved it when we visited! She has been there in person since fall, loves her classes, and is graduating in a year. She’s planning to do a summer mission with Cru this summer, so we won’t see her much.

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16 hours ago, Farrar said:

I really agree with the idea that some states make this much easier than others. 

I'm constantly surprised that calculus based physics, multivariable calculus, etc. are not standard at the "good" CC's in some states. I know it's the case, but these are common courses around me as well.

Course offerings seem to vary a lot based on size and characteristics of the CC student body. 

In Hawaii Calc 2 was hard to schedule. There were fewer than a dozen students in Calc 1. For some it filled their last math requirement. My sons also found that Calc 2 was scheduled at the same time as General Chemistry 2, which created a problem for STEM students who wanted both. But also the 4 year university in Hawaii was very accessible. So CC students weren't necessarily looking for upper level math so much as 2 year applied programs leading to licensure. 

In Virginia, there are many more students in general and more looking for a transfer pathway. In fact there are many guaranteed transfer programs and even some co-enrollment options where students are enrolled at both the CC and a local university and slide into the 4 year campus when they are ready. 

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This is a tool developed for Virginia colleges that lets students see how courses would transfer towards a degree. It's in early release, but should eventually accommodate not only CC courses, but also AP, CLEP, and military equivalent credits.

I'm excited to see it finally rolling out.

https://www.transfervirginia.org/

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9 minutes ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

This is a tool developed for Virginia colleges that lets students see how courses would transfer towards a degree. It's in early release, but should eventually accommodate not only CC courses, but also AP, CLEP, and military equivalent credits.

I'm excited to see it finally rolling out.

https://www.transfervirginia.org/

Ooh, thanks for posting that. It looks like they're aiming for something more like ASSIST in California, which is really good. Virginia has such a hodgepodge public higher ed system that I think is actually pretty frustrating overall.

And yeah, I was looking at community college courses in a state the other day where there were very few higher options in STEM - there were a lot more lawn care courses. Which is fine if most students who want a four year degree are funneled into four year schools that have accessible acceptance thresholds. But I'm used to Maryland and Virginia and California and so forth where CC's can be pretty academic.

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17 hours ago, Farrar said:

I really agree with the idea that some states make this much easier than others. 

I'm constantly surprised that calculus based physics, multivariable calculus, etc. are not standard at the "good" CC's in some states. I know it's the case, but these are common courses around me as well.

When I taught at a CC, I learned that that particular school was an outgrowth from the vo-tech program and was originally under the umbrella of the public school system.  The focus had been very much on applied programs - HVAC, culinary, etc.  When I started there was a lot of focus on articulation agreements and course alignment with State U, which was in the same city but didn't have branches all over town and night/weekend classes like the CC did.  Many of the students were wanting to transfer in nursing, taking bio, anatomy, and gen ed stuff at the CC.  There was also a lot of discussion around the fact that 'success' was measured by the number of students graduating with an associates, but many students intended to transfer and others quit once they had completed the certificate allowing them to work in their trade...the school was working on how to measure success as the students did, not just with graduation rate.  This was kind of rambling, but the point was that in some situations there was no upper level math/science initially because it was a tech school, and students wanting a 4-year degree take university classes.  At the time that I taught there, 2 years of CC + 2 years of State U to save money wasn't as much of a thing - most students that I taught were more about the flexible schedule and easy re-entry to school (I taught nights or Saturdays, so my population may not have been representative).  

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Just now, Farrar said:

Ooh, thanks for posting that. It looks like they're aiming for something more like ASSIST in California, which is really good. Virginia has such a hodgepodge public higher ed system that I think is actually pretty frustrating overall.

And yeah, I was looking at community college courses in a state the other day where there were very few higher options in STEM - there were a lot more lawn care courses. Which is fine if most students who want a four year degree are funneled into four year schools that have accessible acceptance thresholds. But I'm used to Maryland and Virginia and California and so forth where CC's can be pretty academic.

Let me know if you are able to create an account with Transfer Virginia. I'm having some trouble and I'm not sure if it's me or them.

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2 minutes ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

Let me know if you are able to create an account with Transfer Virginia. I'm having some trouble and I'm not sure if it's me or them.

I played with some of the tools for like ten minutes and it's clearly SUPER buggy and slow. But hopefully it'll improve? 

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This thread is helpful...we are navigating this right now. My older dd is taking classes at the local CC and I found the school she plans to transfer to and have been using that to model her course selections... however I can see that for her she really needs to either complete one or two full years because the major she is intending works in cohort groups by junior year. So it is looking like she will probably get in a few less classes than we were originally intending, having a lighter load next year so she will go in a year ahead with a few extra classes to give her some room to breathe instead of 2 years like we originally intended. Two years would have been helpful financially but I also don't want her to burn out so it is what it is...

While the financial factor is big, it also saves me money on high school -- not just college as my kids outsource a lot of their classes. It also will give them wiggle room with some of the heavier semesters as thh course plan for my dd even includes summers to get it done in 4 years. 3 years not overwhelmed because of work completed in high school is definitely worth it. 

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1 hour ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

My sons also found that Calc 2 was scheduled at the same time as General Chemistry 2, which created a problem for STEM students who wanted both.

This happened to my son as well, except with Calc 3 and Calculus based physics.  There was only one section of each, and they were scheduled at the same time, which made me scratch my head because Calc 2 was a prerequisite for Calculus-based physics, and obviously for Calculus 3, too.  You would think the people scheduling would have noticed this.  And this is one of the issues with smaller community colleges.  There is often only one option for each class.  And then also with smaller schools, there are often not enough students with interest to take some of the harder courses.  For example, this semester my son's CC offered Differential Equations, but only two people signed up, and so it was canceled. 

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1 hour ago, Serenade said:

 And this is one of the issues with smaller community colleges.  There is often only one option for each class.  And then also with smaller schools, there are often not enough students with interest to take some of the harder courses.  For example, this semester my son's CC offered Differential Equations, but only two people signed up, and so it was canceled. 

Good points - we experienced these issues as well.  

Edited by Kassia
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9 hours ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

This is a tool developed for Virginia colleges that lets students see how courses would transfer towards a degree. It's in early release, but should eventually accommodate not only CC courses, but also AP, CLEP, and military equivalent credits.

I'm excited to see it finally rolling out.

https://www.transfervirginia.org/

Wonderful! That sounds really comprehensive!

I leaned a lot on the site Transferology. It’s a helpful tool, but only as good as whoever puts in the info! Sometimes things don’t get updated right away, so it’s good to still check with the school—but helpful for planning and exploring.

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@Farrar The community college my kids are taking dual enrollment classes at use not only Assist, but also make use of Ellucian Degree Works for transfer articulation. The guidance counselor would walk a student through the tool during an appointment if the student isn’t familiar with it. It takes credit from AP exams scores into account.

https://www.ellucian.com/assets/en/brochure/ellucian-degree-works.pdf

“Ellucian Degree WorksTM is a comprehensive academic advising, transfer articulation, and degree audit solution that helps students and their advisors successfully negotiate your institution’s curriculum requirements. With Ellucian Degree Works, students are less likely to take courses they don’t need and more likely to stay on a direct path to graduation— and the solution can easily integrate with virtually any student information system.”

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On 2/28/2022 at 12:28 PM, regentrude said:

@Arcadia is that standard for CCs in CA? Many of the CCs here don't offer that level. And I haven't ever seen a transfer from CC who had the 4th semester physics classes.

I believe it is somewhat standard in CA. Maybe there are CCs with less, but generally you can get three semesters of calculus based physics (in rare cases 4), and Calc 3, linear algebra, differential equations, and discrete math. 

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Differences between community college offerings in various parts of the country are great.  I lived in a state with virtually no community colleges.  Then I moved to a state with fairly broad community college offering, but the quality, offerings, and even cost, vary greatly.  We have some community colleges that have tuition almost as much as in-state four year colleges, so there is not much savings.  We have some that are well-connected with a four-year univ--with specific 2+2 programs outlined--with direct admit at the 2-year mark into particular programs.  

I have seen a number of issues, however, with students doing 2 years at community college and then having trouble finishing in 2 additional years.  There are also some sequencing issues in business--one must take economics and accounting (which are generally two-semester courses) before intro to finance, intro to finance, before investments, and investments before a course on derivative securities (there are also some statistics pre-reqs that will be important in sequencing).  I also find that these students often miss some opportunities, like internships and scholarships, during their junior year because they are not yet plugged in with professors for recommendations; they also have more difficulty than non-transfer students forming student groups with classmates. 

For some students in some situations, 2 years at a community college plays an important role in attaining a degree.  But, it definitely is not the best choice for all students.  There can be some negatives also.   

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