“Transfer students know best that if you are a star, you will shine wherever you go.”
All college students have something in common: we are here to prepare for the future. As application season rolls around for Fall 2019, it is time for to think about what’s next in our academic journey.
Community college students have a special edge in their application: an untraditional path in life can bring new perspectives to a college campus, benefiting those who collaborate with us.
Yeol-Shim Bell, a 20 year-old English major at PCCC, is one of many community college students who has had a unique experience that will enhance her future and campus life. After high school, Bell traveled abroad for 7 months to volunteer around various parts of Europe, including Italy, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
“We sold items to fund our trip expenses,” Yeol-Shim Bell explained. “We had to pick up a little bit of each language to communicate with the locals.”
Bell's enriching cultural experiences will provide different perspectives in academic conversations. This experience of appreciating others’ customs is crucial to deeper understanding in educational environments.
Working with students from various backgrounds is not only a beneficial quality of PCCC; it is central to student life at top universities all over the world. According to Princeton University’s website, their class of 2022 includes students from 63 different countries.
While many applicants stress about their standardized test scores, Princeton reported that they accepted only 8% of applicants that scored in the range 1500-1600 (out of 1600) into their freshman class of 2022.
This statistic makes it clear that admission is not solely based on the numbers. There’s no guarantee of admission based off standardized scores and GPA—this leaves anxious students wondering, “What is my dream school looking for?”
What colleges want to know is what applicants can add to their campus culture. Is this applicant a philosophical thinker, a vocal activist, or both? Top schools in New Jersey that provide high job outlooks for their graduates are interested in students like PCCC Panthers. In 2017, Princeton opened its application process to transfer students for the first time in 20 years. Universities across the country provide information on their websites about how transfer students can be a part of their schools.
2014 high honors Columbia graduate and PCCC alumna Liz Walsh’s story can be found under the section “Success Stories” of the PCCC website (in the English Department portion). She stated that her professors at Columbia were excited that she was bringing “a new and unique perspective to the classroom.”
Outside school, the perspective Walsh brought to tutoring local GED students was directly related to her unconventional experience in education. She said, “They were working so hard to improve their lives, and I empathized as someone who left high school and went about education in nontraditional way.”
“They were working so hard to improve their lives, and I empathized as someone who left high school and went about education in nontraditional way.”
In Walsh’s speech at the 2014 PTK induction, she said her fellow PTK members “are among the best of the best, and we weren’t the exception to a community college education—we exemplified how community colleges can and do change lives every day.”
“[PTK members] are among the best of the best, and we weren’t the exception to a community college education – we exemplified how community colleges can and do change lives every day.”
Being active in a community starts there—in the community. That’s why PCCC students have the unique opportunity to make change on a personal and meaningful level. As we are here for only our first 60 credits, it’s important to think of where we will bring our uncommon experiences and life lessons.
If you have questions regarding the transfer process, there is an information page on the PCCC website: http://www.pccc.edu/prospective/student-services/center-for-student-success/transfer-services/faq. You can also search on the school website, “Transfer FAQ.”
PCCC is the place to be to make your dreams come true, no matter what path you’d like to take. The experiences we gain from learning and working in the community are the lessons we can use to change the world.
“Nothing so close can take you so far!”