There seems to be a lot of confusion about what courses to take at a community college. This confusion VERY OFTEN leads to taking the wrong courses, which pushes out your graduation date, which costs you more money. College counselors usually recommend that students take their general education classes and courses that they’re interested in. This is WRONG! That’s an old school mindset — something people did when they had the luxury of “exploring majors” and “getting your feet wet” in college. If you want to get in and get out in 2 years so you can transfer as a junior and graduate with a degree in 4 years, you’ll need to do a bit of planning ahead. Here’s how:
First, lay out your 4-year plan using course requirements from the college you plan to get your degree from. Then, at your community college, take the prerequisites and lower-division courses required for your major at the 4-year college or university you plan to graduate from. This way, you’ll be better prepared to jump into the program with success AND the college will be more likely to admit you. Bottom line: if you’re required to take 5-6 lower divisions courses for your major, take them at your community college now.
Then, add in the general ed classes that your 4-year college requires for graduation. Don’t worry about what the community college requires because unless your goal is to get an AA degree, the community college’s requirements won’t help with your transfer college’s requirements. Remember, the goal here is to get credit for the 4 year college – NOT a degree from the community college.
Some colleges like the California State Universities (CSU’s) or University of California system (UC’s) will accept the IGETC (general ed classes) from California Community Colleges (CCC). That means that if you complete all of the courses for the IGETC, then the CSU or UC campuses will not require that you take any general education courses once you transfer. This may not be the same for other private or public colleges, so check with the college you plan to graduate from to determine their policies.
See? By spending some time planning ahead, you can save yourself a ton of time and a LOT of money!