Get on the SAC TRAC to success

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 Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Transfer and career center guides students to four-year universities.

Anthony B. Botello

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

The recent merger of the transfer center and advising center means exciting things for all students. Students who want information about which college they want to attend should visit Room 100 of Moody Learning Center for help with transfer degree plans, sending transcripts and priority deadlines.

The transfer and career center, called TRAC, also helps students navigate changes in their major so they do not lose core classes when they transfer. Students should start by finding the right college, major and requirements. Sometimes students find out they’re taking the wrong course, or their GPA needs help, and TRAC can steer them back on track.

Rosa Maria Gonzalez, transfer coordinator and adviser, has been working in transfer counseling for 25 years. She said the transfer center provides updated information about universities, and assists students with joint admission agreements.

She said TRAC works with counselors and faculty to help students learn which courses are transferable.

Gonzalez said the new generic degrees “shouldn’t make a difference.”

“If you complete the core curriculum, it is guaranteed to transfer to universities by state mandate,” Gonzalez said.

She said students transferring in the future should follow these steps:

• Create a transfer checklist.

• Select a career and major.

• Meet with a counselor or faculty adviser.

• Submit a transfer/admissions application and any necessary fees.

• Apply for financial aid and scholarships.

“A lot of students start the opposite way, by selecting a school they like first, but you should be sure that university has your major first,” Gonzalez said.

She said students should consider cost and quality of the university; they should not limit their options.

“Don’t limit your view based on what you think a school costs; most expensive universities have more financial aid than you might think,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said students should start the process a year before they actually transfer by consulting degree plans and knowing which courses are transferable.

Gonzalez suggests students visit www.alamo.edu/sac/transfer for events, information and transfer plans.

“We want students to understand university websites show what classes are needed, but our website shows what courses SAC offers that actually transfer,” Gonzalez said.

She said GPA requirements are calculated differently from university to university, so it is important to check with TRAC. Students would not want to pay a nonrefundable admissions fee if their GPA requirements are not fulfilled.

Gonzalez recommends students view a university’s open house/information sessions to see if it is a good fit.

Financial planning is important because there is a increase in cost from community college to four-year universities, she said.

Gonzalez said she wants “students to get on track to get to whatever university and degree they want, and reach their goal – a smooth transition.”

For more information, call 210-486-0342 or visit www.alamo.edu/sac/trac.

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