Archive | December 2011

Tips for New Transfer Students

Are you a new transfer student and a little bit lost? Don’t worry! You’re not the only one. Transferring from the community college system can be very complicated and students often feel like they’re drowning in information. As a peer advisor in the College of Communications Advisement Center and a transfer student myself, I have come up with a list of the most common misunderstandings that many transfer students have.

  1. “I thought I was done with GE?” The absolute most common thing I come across is that transfer students don’t know they need to take 9 units of upper division GE at CSUF. If students don’t seek advisement, they may not find this out for their first couple of semesters at CSUF. The good news is that for COMM and RTVF majors, the required collateral courses may be able to double count for upper division GE courses! Consult an advisor for more information.
  2. “What is a TDA?” As a new transfer student, your Titan Degree Audit (TDA) will be a preliminary evaluation of your transfer coursework. The TDA is the compilation of all units completed, in progress, and requirements needed for graduation. It includes a section for your General Education requirements as well as your major requirements. Students should check their TDAs at least once every semester to make sure they are on track. TDAs are absolutely necessary when seeking advisement as well! If you are having trouble understanding your TDA, make sure to seek clarification. Here is a Flash-based tutorial that explains how to access your TDA.
  3. “Not all of my classes are showing up on my TDA!” Make sure to send your most recent community college transcripts as soon as possible after completion of all transfer classes. It may take some time for admissions to process your transcripts. The sooner you send them in, the sooner your TDA will be updated. On the front of your TDA, you will see the “Final Evaluation Status” message change to “Complete” when the Admissions and Records office finalizes the final evaluation of your records. Transcripts may also affect registration for classes, so don’t forget about sending them in!
  4. “Who do I talk to?!” Finally, there are at least two different places for students to receive undergraduate advisement for their degrees. The Academic Advisement Center in UH-123 provides advising for General Education and undergraduate policies. For major advising in the College of Communications, full-time faculty can provide advisement, as well as the College of Communications Advisement Center in CP 425.

Hopefully, you are now feeling a little more at ease! As a transfer student, I know I had some of these questions. My last piece of advice is to never shy away from asking questions. It’s not fun to ask questions when everyone else seems to know what’s going on. However, part of the college experience is learning how to navigate the system.  Keep asking questions until you feel comfortable with where you’re going. I hope this helps!

Rebecca Buntain
Peer Advisor

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Approaching the Finish Line

The two weeks after Thanksgiving break are notorious amongst college students. Teased by freedom from school and the beginning of the holiday season, motivation to write final papers and study for exams is hard to find. Looking for a way to beat the turkey-induced bout of post-break laziness? Here are a few simple tips to avoid crashing before you hit the finish line:

1. Defeat procrastination before it’s too late! Let’s be honest, you probably didn’t get too far on the list of homework you wanted to do over the break, and the daunting list of tasks to be done can be a temptation to put it off further. However, even the procrastinator can be tricked into working ahead by easing into small amounts of work at a time. Study during commercial breaks, devote just 15 minutes at a time to something that needs to get done, or set yourself to complete only 25% of an assignment before you hang out with your friends. Motivation to begin is considerably harder to produce than motivation to continue something that has already begun, so make getting started as easy as possible.

2. Find an environment that will encourage studying. Surprisingly, your couch, your bed, your dorm, and in front of a TV are terrible places to study! If you like lattes, study at a coffee shop. If you want pancakes, go to Denny’s to study. If being around friends will keep you off Facebook long enough to accomplish something, meet together at someone’s house. ASI offers the All Night Study in the TSU to accommodate all of your study needs at any time. Finding the right environment will maximize the time you spend studying.

You’d be hard pressed to find a student excited to return from Thanksgiving break, but some creativity can help you finish the semester with excellence. Discover what helps you the most, and make the approach to the finish line as smooth and easy as possible.