Students from Merced Community College transfer to universities and colleges all over the country and beyond. Because there is little or no formal articulation with institutions outside of California, preparing to transfer will require additional effort to gather the necessary information. MC counselors are able to assist you with that effort. The following links provide you with a guide to help you understand what kind of information you need and where to find it. In addition, you can see course transfer information about those out-of-state schools with which MC has formal articulation agreements and learn about a tuition-savings agreement among western states in the U.S.
Guidelines for Out-of-State Transfer
Students who begin their bachelor’s degree at Merced College transfer to universities located all over the country. The following are the essential elements that you and your counselor will take into account when exploring baccalaureate programs in other states in the U.S.
The Transfer Credit Challenge
Perhaps the most intimidating aspect of out-of-state transfer is the absence of the articulation agreements between California’s community colleges and universities within the state that provide guarantees that transfer credit will be granted for the classes you are taking at Merced College. With a few exceptions, no one at Merced College can tell you with absolute certainty how an out-of-state institution will treat your community college coursework. Aside from actually applying, the only way to know is to ask for an informal evaluation from the target university.
Step 1: Gather information about the school
It is important that you gather some basic information about the transfer requirements for your target out-of-state school before you begin inquiring about specific course credit. You will need to consult the school’s printed catalog or go online to their Web site to find out:
the minimum number of units you need to apply as a transfer student
any other transfer selection criteria, such as GPA minimums
lower-division General Education requirements
lower-division prerequisites necessary to enter your major
application procedures and deadlines
Unit and GPA requirements are usually a part of information for transfer students in an “Admissions” section.
General Education requirements are among the graduation requirements for a degree from the university; and they may be called by other terms, such as Liberal Studies, Essential Skills, or Foundations.
Lower division major prerequisites will be on the pages that describe each major.
For both GE and major preparation, you might need to look up the institution’s course numbering, in order to separate lower division from upper division.
Many catalogs are available in the Transfer Center and the staff there can help you locate online information. Print out or make copies of everything and take it to an appointment (not a drop-in session) with your Merced College counselor.
Step 2: Write a proposed educational plan
Your Merced College counselor will compare the information that you have gathered to the courses offered at Merced College and make an educated guess about which Merced College courses will meet the requirements for transfer to your target school. Based on that guess, you and your counselor will write a tentative educational plan. It may take more than one appointment session to accomplish this step.
Step 3: Ask for a review of your plan
At this point it is necessary to identify an admissions advisor at your target university. Catalogs and Web sites will contain Admissions office phone numbers; online information usually includes email addresses through which to make contact. Your goal is to locate an advisor who will review your plan and provide feedback on whether it will meet the requirements to be admitted at the level you are seeking. You will offer to mail or fax the plan to them and ask the advisor to mail or fax their approval or suggestions for changes. You may also have to make separate contact with an advisor in the department of your major to find out about major preparation. One of the things you will want to let the university advisor know about is the availability of all Merced College’s complete course outlines via the Web. This will greatly facilitate the advisor’s ability to evaluate the Merced College courses you propose to transfer. Your Merced College counselor can show you how to access those outlines, so that you can pass instructions on to the advisor.
Step 4: Confirm and carry out your plan
After you receive the university advisor’s evaluation of your plan, meet again with your Merced College counselor to review the feedback and make any necessary adjustments. Continue to meet regularly with your counselor, especially at any point that you want to take different courses or make any other changes that are not in the approved plan. Of course, follow all application instructions and meet deadlines set by the university. The Transfer Center is located in Lesher Building on the Merced College Campus. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM and on Wednesday evenings from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Our phone number is (209) 384-6239.