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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