Students often start a two-year college to save time and money before transferring to a four-year school. But for some, that strategy can actually cost time and money when some classes don’t transfer.
Zachary Munoz, a Del Mar College alumnus, planned ahead, and therefore he didn’t have to worry about losing credit.
“I planned it my second year at Del Mar during the fall semester. I started asking all the questions I could, if there was any advice the adviser could give me about having a smooth transfer,” Munoz said. “Luckily she caught me at a good time that I didn’t make many mistakes yet.”
Munoz, however, is still subjected to the Texas Core Curriculum, passed in 1987, which aimed to make the transfer between schools more simple by providing a curriculum that must be fulfilled before acquiring an associate or bachelor’s degree.
The Texas Core Curriculum is designed for all undergraduate students in Texas. Students are required to complete 42 semester credit hours, which the state considers college-level capacity.
To be “Core Complete” means the student will have completed all of their basics required for their major. Once the student is considered Core Complete the credits will transfer to a university, saving the students from taking any more additional core classes.
“As of now the classes I took at Del Mar don’t transfer but as soon as I finish Core Complete, which I’m working on at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Del Mar will declare me Core Complete,” Munoz said, “and as soon as that happens everything will transfer to TAMU-CC.”
Student advising becomes important when it comes to following a degree plan.
Sara King, Del Mar College coordinator of recruitment, explained the do’s and don’ts of transferring to another institution.
“It is important for students to reach out to their transfer institution. Each university has different admission requirements and accepts transfer credits differently. If a student is seeking admission for a specific major, that department may also have different transfer processes,” King said.
Planning ahead and knowing what a student needs to take and what will transfer will prevent problems.
“Common mistakes students make include not reaching out to their university early. Our advisers can assist with transfer processes,” King said. “However, if the student has not discussed transferring with their adviser, has not spoken to the university about their specific requirements, our adviser would not be aware of specific requirements needed to transfer.”
About two-fifths of Texas students lose all of their credits when they transfer schools, according to the Greater Texas Foundation.
Sound recording technology major Gabriel Garcia plans to transfer after graduating from Del Mar College this spring and didn’t know where to start.
“I wasn’t sure what to do so I looked up the information on the website for the university I’m going to,” Garcia said. “I talked to the counselor and he was very helpful. He walked me through everything to do.”
Garcia is waiting to find out if his credits will transfer to his school of choice, Dallas Baptist University.
“My biggest worry is that all the stuff, even though knowledge-wise wasn’t a waste on paper and time, would be a waste and that it could have been avoided,” Garcia said.
Texas lawmakers are looking to fix the problem of transferring college credit but when a community college and university have their own structures of higher education it becomes difficult.
Community colleges are looked at as having lower-level courses, leaving universities concerned.
Del Mar College continues to assist students seeking help.
The Registrar Office can be of assistance at the Harvin Center, Room 270 on East Campus, and the Coleman Center, Room 128 on West campus.
“Del Mar College is a transfer-friendly institution, whether it is transferring to us or to another campus,” King said. “We want to work with our students and universities to ensure easy transferability but students should also do their homework — the earlier the better.”