From Santa Monica College to UCSB: Striving for success means taking leadership



I would really advise looking at the website, asking your community college counselor (if a good one is available), or calling the school to ask for prior information about what you’ll have to do once you start at your transfer school. Orientation may not provide the most helpful information you want and need. For mine, there was no information on financial aid at UCSB, so I had to go to the office once there, email them, and seek information on programs such as EOP to learn more. At orientation there was no information on extracurriculars, work study, resources students can use such as applying for CalFresh, program benefits such as the EOP emergency scholarship which can be up to $400, but only be used one quarter per year or applying for CalFresh if you qualify for work study and use it or plan to. Something useful would be to look up the major sheets from the institution you wish to attend and look through their course catalog to get an idea of the subjects you could learn about. Additionally, for one day, you might receive an overwhelming amount of information.


Perhaps, your community college did not offer a course you need for your major so you have to take it there and could affect you getting into the major. Perhaps, a course you took might not transfer over as it has been the case for some students. You should also know that there is a set cap on how many lower division units transfer over. For UCSB it is 105 quarter units or 70 semester units. Additionally, different colleges may provide different requirements for graduating with a degree (eg-College of L&S requires a total of 180 quarter units with a total of 60 units being from upper division courses, the courses above 100). Because of the unit requirements it might be necessary to acquire a minor or double major. However, it should be done if doable and you’d actually like to take some of the classes for the minor. Some majors might have different requirements due to them falling under different colleges at a university. (For example, I am a psychology student which falls under the Psychology department which falls under the College of Letters and Science. As an education minor, I have to go to the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education to speak about that field/coursework as well.) Due to this division you can and will at some point need to speak to advisors from both your department and college in order to get the right information. This can be confusing because your academic counselor and or EOP counselor will give you different information from that of your department advisors. However, some colleges and or departments work closely with other programs (eg-at UCSB, EOP has College of L&S advisors work at the EOP offices for certain times and days). It is always best to do some research before visiting any advisor or counselor this will help clear up any confusion.


Saul Nolasco a Santa Monica College transfer student at UC Santa Barbara wants transfer students to know that success means doing a lot of planning and research. He is now finishing his first quarter and jokes that classes are too easy for him. At first being away from his mother and little sister made him homesick but decided to keep busy with student clubs. He joined Hermanos Unidos and La Esculita, these clubs have helped him stay active and at the same give back. With La Esculita he tutors local kids in math and helps them with homework and with Hermanos Unidos he volunteers at community events and is currently planning a Thanksgiving dinner for needy families. During his winter break Saul plans to come back to Kid City and share his transfer experience with the Community College group. One of Saul's biggest accomplishments so far has been mapping out his course work to be on track for graduation. By 2017, Saul will graduate with my B.A. in Psychology and a minor in education. After graduation Saul plans to attend graduate school.