The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Planning early can mean students save money, time

By Ashlyn LeVesque/ reporter

TCC students planning to transfer to a four-year university should visit an academic advisor or counselor early to establish a major and set up a degree plan.

Students are encouraged to establish a relationship with academic advisors, ask questions, explore interests and research universities to find the best fit, NW Campus transfer center coordinator Lourdes Davenport said.

“Academic advising is the cornerstone of academic success,” she said.
“The plan designed by the student and his or her advisor is focused on career aspirations, strengths and a well-balanced set of courses for each semester. The focus should be on transferring credits toward a major not only transferring credits.”

Students such as SE Campus student Brandi Hall know advantages to early planning.

“I have found that it is so much more beneficial to pick a major while you’re still at a two-year school,” she said. “It’s proactive in so many ways. It saves a significant amount of money and gets core classes out of the way so that when you transfer to a four-year school, you can mainly focus on courses for your chosen major.”

Early planning will benefit students by helping them decide what courses to take, when to transfer and what school to attend, University of North Texas transfer admissions associate director Myra Hafer said.

“It is very important for students to be advised by the school and degree program that they plan to seek a degree,” she said. “This eliminates the possibility of students taking unnecessary courses that do not transfer or get used toward their four-year degree.”

Students planning to transfer should schedule a time to visit their school of choice and to meet with an academic advisor in the major they plan to pursue or contact their TCC campus about visits from transfer admissions counselors, Hafer said.

“Most four-year schools have transfer admission counselors that regularly visit the community college campus,” she said. “Students that are interested in transferring to a certain school should check with their TCC advisor or with the school they are interested in to find out about transfer admission counselor visits to the TCC campus.”

Early planning helps ensure a smooth transition and on-time graduation, whether TCC students are first semester or about to graduate with an associate, Texas Woman’s University admissions counselor Andrietta Jackson said.

“Establishing your degree, and thus your degree plan, early is beneficial for the sake of applicability,” she said. “In other words, if you take too many classes unrelated to the degree you intend to pursue, they will not all apply to your degree plan. This, in turn, can cause a student to graduate late or even run into financial aid problems.”

Results of not planning early include nontransferable credits, courses that don’t match a major or less funding for financial aid.

“I would advise students to do research on their career, major of interest and each institution they are looking into,” University of North Texas academic counselor Kimberly Parker said. “I encourage students to be their biggest advocate. Your education is one of the biggest investments you will ever make in your life. Make it worthwhile.”

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