Counselor for transfer from community college to UC or CSU?

Dear fellow parents,

My 20-something son has taken a couple of gap years but has now settled into a routine of taking courses at one of the local community colleges. We have tried to figure out how to arrange his schedule to get him ready for transfer to a four-year school (with UC and CSU in mind), but we are flummoxed by the conflicting information presented on the numerous websites, and meetings with the community college's transfer counselors have been less than helpful. Is there a local professional we could hire for advice?

thanks for any leads!


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Hi, this is a pretty straightforward process; what school is he at?  All California Community Colleges participate in the TAG (TransfervAdmission Guarantee) program; the school the students may be accepted into vary by particular CC.  None of them will get him into UCB or UCLA, I’d those are schools he is looking at (they don’t participate in TAG). Has he studied the information here?  It’s all laid out. Best of luck

A "transfer" is a little more complicated than applying as a "first year with college credits." If your son was UC/CSU eligible upon high school graduation, and does not yet have 60 credits at community college, then it might be better to apply as a freshman with college credits.  The Contra Costa College website looks pretty useful:

Transfer to UC or CSU is very straightforward, you do not need to pay anyone for advice on this as it is readily available from the UC and CSU admissions folks. For UCs other than Berkeley or UCLA, all he needs to do is take the required prereqs for his desired major with the required minimum GPA and he can be admitted through TAG (Transfer Admission Guarantee) or through the general application process. I suggest attending a transfer info session at a UC or CSU that he is interested in, ASAP. I went to one at a UC with my son during his first year of cc. The admissions person laid out exactly what you need to do to be admitted and showed examples of the student snapshots they use for transfer admission for students who were admitted and were not admitted. It's not all about the highest GPA: taking the required prereqs is crucial. He can find these on each UC or CSU'ssadmissions website under Transfers. There are general requirements for all transfers to UC and CSU (they are different), plus major-specific requirements for many majors (all of the STEM ones and some other ones depending on the school). Then you go to to find which classes at your cc match these required classes. He should make a plan how he will complete all that by the end of the spring before he transfers and he can run that by an admissions counselor at the desired 4 year school as well as his cc counselor. He can't use the summer right before transfer to fulfill any requirements, they must be completed by end of spring and the plan for that final spring can't look unrealistic compared to the courseload he's been successful with at the time he applies (fall). My son checked his planned courses with admissions at his first choice UC, 2 or 3 times before applying; also, some of the UCs and CSUs will have an admissions rep who is assigned to your cc, they have a schedule of visits to the cc (probably over zoom currently). My son found he had to take classes at 2 nearby ccs to get all requirements for his science major in within 2 years. (He got in to his first choice, plus the other UCs whose specific requirements he had met.)