Before the new semester begins, make sure your transcript is working for you

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Before the new semester begins, make sure your transcript is working for you

The Transfer Center is filled with banners of the various colleges that students transfer to. Photo credit: Alec Kamburov

The Transfer Center is filled with banners of the various colleges that students transfer to. Photo credit: Alec Kamburov

The Transfer Center is filled with banners of the various colleges that students transfer to. Photo credit: Alec Kamburov

The Transfer Center is filled with banners of the various colleges that students transfer to. Photo credit: Alec Kamburov

By Naveed Pour

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As the semester is coming to a close, all anyone is focused on is getting through finals and ending the semester off strong. But before you get ready to throw in the towel, take time to make sure. Are you taking too few of units? Too many? Do you really need this class? Your transcript speaks a thousand words, and sometimes says more than personal statements.

Regardless of the grades you earn, the classes you plan to take could give your transcript a personality to make you stand out in admissions and allow you to finish more in less time.

Transfer resources is an amazing resource that can get you set up to transfer to your school of choice. However, the information shared through its pages is oversimplified and often outdated. Some classes might satisfy transfer requirements, but not a Bachelor’s degree for graduation requirements and vice versa.

For example, according to, a Neuroscience major looking to transfer to UCLA only needs to take the class requirements of Biology students and an Introduction to Psychology class. But to graduate, that same student would actually also need to take a statistics course. Here at Moorpark, Math M15 would transfer over and satisfy that requirement. Students looking to take advantage of Moorpark’s prices, and their own time, would have missed out on the chance to get ahead of their studies.

To avoid this from happening in the future, Brennan Burnett, the UCLA representative for Moorpark College, recommends students use While tells students how to transfer to their school of choice, tells students what transfers to that school.

If a student wants to clear a B.A. requirement they can check to see if one of Moorpark’s classes articulates and is accepted by their transfer school of choice. If they are looking to minor in, say, Linguistics, students can check to see if our Linguistic Anthropology class can count for any credit towards a linguistic minor’s (or major’s) requirements. Sometimes, courses don’t count as specific classes but can be used to satisfy elective credits in a certain subject.

Of course, students should always check their prospective transfer school’s department website for their major to confirm any requirements. Each student should discuss their classes and how each fulfills requirements with their counselor prior to committing to a certain schedule. Requirements and eligibility will vary between campuses and majors, and your counselor must confirm any information that or gives you before decisions are made.

Online courses

A quick way to clear yourself of major or IGETC requirements can be to take online classes. Many times, an online class can be the easiest “A” one can get, but also the easiest “F”. If a student is not organized and does not keep up with assignments, online courses can be stressful. If a student is self-motivated and completes assignments weekly, staying on top of the course and its modules, online courses could be the best decision students can make. Often times, they are straightforward and allow you to work at your own pace, on your own time, with every resource available to you – even with tests and quizzes.

Sometimes, online classes can be “early dismissal” or “late start”, meaning that they either begin when the semester starts and run until the middle of the semester, or they begin at the middle of the semester and run until the end of the semester. If you need to clear credit, it can be a very good to take one “early dismissal” class and a “late start” class, so you aren’t swamped while taking two classes for the semester. The two classes will seamlessly transition into one another in the middle of the semester, and you will have taken more units in the same amount of time with a similar workload.

On that note, it’s important to talk about academic overload. It can be intimidating to take far above the full-time student course load. It is often said that for each unit your class is worth, there are two to three hours of work or study required for it outside of class, such as a lab. As many of us have seen through past courses, this isn’t always true. Many classes require far less than their proposed study hours while some require much more. But if you can confirm that the class isn’t very time-consuming (and this can largely depend on the professor even if two classes are the same subject), it might be a good idea to take another class to get more done in a semester.

Expanding your horizons

Even if a class you are interested in doesn’t show up as a requirement anywhere, it can be to your advantage to take the class anyway. Moorpark offers so many classes taught by great professors that go unnoticed by students simply because they are not required to take them.

Even if the class won’t transfer (many do transfer), it could be beneficial to prepare for your major with a class that might get you well-versed in the subject before you take your upper-division core classes – let alone showing admissions counselors through your transcripts that you are interested in and can perform well in the subject.

An Anthropology student might take a research methods class or Physiology major might take a pharmacology class. Each of these classes is a great complement to the required coursework that can be a great decision to make when learning your major material.

Knowing this, it is important to make sure you choose the right classes while you spend your time here at Moorpark; especially if you’re on a tight one-, two- or three-year schedule. Deciding what classes are necessary for your degree is crucial to moving closer to your degree without wasting time. But once that is arranged for you with the approval of a counselor, it can be a good idea to tack on some more classes that might be beneficial to your understanding of your major moving forward.

However you choose to map out your years, don’t forget that your time is limited and that it will pass very quickly – so be sure to start planning as soon as possible.

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