If you are looking to earn a bachelor's degree, you'll find that CCAC is a great place to start. In fact, half of our students come to CCAC to complete the first two years of an affordable four-year bachelor's degree.
Starting with your first day on campus, CCAC's transfer counselors will help you plan a smooth transition as you work toward your ultimate educational goals. Our transfer counselors will help you establish early contact with your transfer college and will assist you in selecting CCAC courses that will transfer to the four-year college of your choice.
General Guide to a Successful Transfer
Since a successful transfer requires an informed plan and a lot of work on the student's part, you have already taken the first step in achieving this goal by reading the General Guide to a Successful Transfer. A successful transfer means that you are not only accepted by your target institution, but that you are also able to use most or all of your CCAC credits and enter as a junior.Read the General Guide to a Successful Transfer
About the Transfer Process
The courses taken in the first two years at CCAC are typically similar to those courses students would take during the freshman and sophomore years at a four-year institution. Our transfer counselors will help students develop a program of study that will meet all of the requirements of their transfer school. By working closely with a transfer counselor, students can ensure that their coursework at CCAC will be precisely what they need to prepare for the completion of a Bachelor's Degree at the college or university of their choice.
All of CCAC's transfer and parallel programs may be started at any campus, but specific courses required in a program might not be offered at all of the College's campuses. Where these limitations exist, options can be explained by an academic advisor.
If the programs listed do not serve a student's educational plan, they may design their own program. Individual educational plans should be on file with the Academic Services and Records Office. When students complete this program, they will graduate with an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science Degree in General Studies. Students will have satisfied the distribution requirements of the Associate Degree but not the requirements of any specific program.
If, after transfer, students pursue a program different from the one they began at CCAC or if they change their choice of colleges, the college to which they have transferred may require additional courses for junior status.
As students begin at CCAC, they should be aware that four-year colleges and universities have specific requirements for the Bachelor's Degree. These may include intermediate foreign language, calculus-based mathematics or specific courses in the arts, the humanities, the natural and social sciences.
Choosing a Program of Study (Major)
Four-year schools to which students may want to transfer have specific requirements for the Bachelor's Degree. Such general education requirements are based upon the major or program of study that they select at a four-year institution. These may include study of a foreign language, upper-division math courses or certain courses in the Fine Arts, the Humanities, the Social Sciences or the Natural Sciences.
If you are undecided about what they want their major at a four-year institution to be, we advise that you enroll in general courses and seek the assistance of a career counselor. Career counseling helps you explore your interests, values, skills and career goals in order to select a major.
If you were beginning your education at a four-year school, you might not declare a major or take most of your course work in that major until your junior year. During your freshman and sophomore years, you would take what colleges describe as core skills, general education or distribution courses. Colleges prescribe the number of credits required across various discipline areas like natural sciences and mathematics, humanities, social sciences and fine arts. Within these requirements, some colleges require subjects such as foreign languages and laboratory science courses. Typically, 60 college credits are distributed as general education and represent half of the Bachelor's Degree.
Although you may take a few introductory courses, most of your course work will be determined by the major you choose at the transfer college. Most colleges require a general education distribution of courses to provide students with broad knowledge to understand a complex world and to expand their interests. The latter often helps students determine their major if they are uncertain when they begin college.
It is more important that you match the distribution requirements of your targeted transfer school than declaring a major in a subject area while enrolled at CCAC. Meeting the distribution requirements is essential if you want most of your credits to transfer. Some institutions will not accept credits in a major beyond those in introductory courses as they prefer students take the majority of major courses at their institution.
The following programs are designed for transferring to a four-year institution and are general in nature. One of these programs may be best suited for you while enrolled at CCAC, however, consult with a transfer counselor prior to making this decision:
- Liberal Arts & Sciences, A.S. (006)
- Mathematics & Sciences, A.S. (003)
- Business, A.S. (004)
- General Studies, A.S. (089)
The first three are University Parallel Programs and are intended for transfer to institutions where CCAC has articulation agreements. An articulation agreement is a signed contract between two institutions. It guarantees that upon completion of the Associate degree in a University Parallel Program, the four-year school will accept the student's CCAC credits. Students must meet the admissions criteria of that institution.
The General Studies degree permits greater flexibility in course selection and is appropriate for students who are transferring to schools where the general education requirements are very specific.
You will also find a number of programs for specific majors. These majors may or may not be appropriate for your transfer school as they may focus more on courses in a major rather than the distribution requirements of the transfer school. If so, many of the program credits may not be accepted by the transfer school.
CCAC also offers career majors that are intended to prepare students for the workplace rather than for transfer. In some cases, certain schools may accept several credits from CCAC's career programs, such as business, allied health, or nursing. If you are planning to major in those areas at the transfer school, you will need to explore your options with a transfer counselor. Click here to connect with a counselor.
Applying for admission to another school places you in a competitive pool with other students. Although schools require a minimum QPA to be eligible for admission consideration, they often admit students with the best grade point average. Do your very best at CCAC to make sure that you are accepted by your transfer choice. Remember that most transfer institutions accept only the courses with C or better grades. Under most circumstances, students will be required to maintain at least a QPA of 2.0 or above. In many instances, four-year colleges require a much higher QPA in specific programs of study, such as education or business. It is important to be aware of the minimum QPA that is acceptable at the four-year college you plan to attend.
If you find yourself in academic difficulty in any course at CCAC, get help immediately. Ask your instructor for an appointment to review your work. For additional help, make an appointment to receive tutoring. In addition, work with a counselor to review all of the variables that maybe affecting your work. The counselor may advise you to withdraw from the course for that semester and discuss other support services and resources that are available to assist you. It is critical that you take action to identify and address what is causing the academic problems. Not acting could have long-range consequences that may impact your transfer plans.
Successful Transfer Planning
Whether you transfer with or without an Associate degree if you plan to transfer, you need to understand the transfer process. Meeting with a transfer counselor is critical to a successful transfer. Below are some additional items that will assist in your planning.
- Identify early, in your first or second semester, that your goal is to transfer.
- Identify the school and major intended for transfer.
- If you wait until you are in your second year at CCAC to begin to work on the transfer process, you might find that you have not taken the appropriate courses that your transfer institution requires.
- Know and use the resources available for transfer students both at CCAC and the transfer institution.
- Know and fulfill the transfer requirements of the target institution including the minimum QPA required for admission and the particular course requirements.
- Understand that the acceptance of credits at a transfer institution is the decision of the transfer college, not of CCAC, and depends on your fulfillment of the transfer requirements.
- Understand that some courses may transfer but are not required within the major at the four-year college.
Be Prepared to Answer Questions
CCAC's transfer counselors will assist you by explaining the process of transferring to a four-year institution and advising you of the steps necessary to achieve your educational goals. When you make an appointment to meet with a transfer counselor, please be prepared to answer the following questions:
- What are your career goals?
- Have you selected a transfer college?
- What major do you intend to pursue at the four-year college?
If you are unsure of your answers, as many beginning students are, it is advised that you meet with a career counselor. Once you have made a decision as to your major and transfer college, you can make an appointment with a transfer counselor. Click here to connect with a counselor.
Transfer is a complex process and requires that you work with a number of people both at CCAC and the transfer institution. The CCAC staff that will partner with you in developing and executing a plan will be career counselors, transfer counselors, and academic advisors. Instructors are also excellent resources for information relative to academic programs and colleges that excel in specific disciplines.
Career counselors will help you choose a career path and an academic major to meet your future career plans.
The role of the transfer counselor is to help you determine the transfer requirements of the four-year institution, identify the resources available to you as you prepare to transfer and communicate with four-year college representatives to ensure accuracy of transfer information.
After you meet with the transfer counselor, you will schedule your classes with an academic advisor who will discuss your long-range academic goals. Your advisor will work in collaboration with the career counselors and transfer counselors to help you achieve your goals.
Your instructors are great resources who can discuss your interests in subject areas and may recommend colleges and universities that excel in those subject areas. In addition, your instructors can provide you with letters of recommendation as required by many transfer schools in the application process.
The transfer counselor will help you select courses that will be applicable to the four-year college in one of the following areas:
- general education
- major requirements
- general elective credits
Several resources are used to assist the transfer counselor in making these decisions:
- the four-year college catalog
- course equivalency information
In addition, transfer counselors communicate with the four-year college representatives regularly to ensure the accuracy of transfer information. A few colleges and universities maintain information on their respective homepage relative to the transferability of coursework. In addition, a four-year college may provide a published course equivalency guide for student use. When using these guides, however, you are advised to check with a transfer counselor before registering for classes. It is important that you are aware of the following when transferring:
- the grade point average you must achieve to be admitted to a particular college and major
- the program and courses you should take at CCAC
- deadline dates
- the minimum and maximum number of credits required by a four-year college
- other requirements specific to an institution
Campus transfer offices house a number of college and university catalogs, and many are available via the Internet. In addition, admissions applications for most colleges in Western Pennsylvania area are available to students. If you have attended a college or university previously, please provide the transfer counselor with a transcript. This may prevent you from registering for a class you have already completed. Remember to consult with a transfer counselor for updates and curriculum changes at the four-year institution.
The transfer counselor will also discuss the terms of an articulation agreement with you. Articulation agreements are contracts that CCAC has with several colleges and universities. Students who enter an articulation agreement and complete the associate degree are assured their CCAC credits will transfer. If you want to transfer to a college with an articulation agreement, your transfer counselor will guide you through the process and help you to organize your courses at CCAC.
As a CCAC student, you'll find numerous academic and extracurricular options to suit you interests. In addition, the College's membership in the Pittsburgh Council of Higher Education (PCHE) enables full-time students to cross-register at any other member institution (see list below). If a course is not offered by CCAC, you can enroll in that course at an appropriate member college and pay only the CCAC tuition rate. If you decide to transfer, you'll have first-hand experience to guide you in making decisions about where to continue your education.