Conference focuses on transfers

By Juan Calvillo

The Fourth Annual Student Success Conference focused on encouraging current and future East Los Angeles College students to prepare to transfer and to present for the details of their scholastic future.
The conference had four distinct workshops, each dealing with various aspects of college student life including transferring, college preparation and higher education transition.
Maria Quintero, political science professor, said the event gives students a chance to learn about how they can make their college experience a successful one.
There was a lot of information and encouragement for student participation for each workshop provided.
“The purpose of this event is for students to gain the information that they need to pursue their academic goals and to feel a sense that they are not alone in this journey,” Quintero said.
The conference, held at ELAC’s South Gate Educational Center, had two workshops focused on transferring.
Transferring has different systems in place that correlate with different four-year-schools.
These schools are the California State and University of California college systems.
Erica Burgos, a transfer mentor from the Transfer Center, said the idea is to have 60 units in electives and major preparation. She said students have the opportunity to be a part of college summer programs which help prepare transferring students to become acquainted with the college they choose.
Burgos said the Transfer Center is offering information for transfer students of their individual situations as well as information on college summer programs, like that of University of California, Irvine’s summer program and the University of California, Los Angeles program.
Chely Gonzalez, the program director for the UCLA ELAC Program, said UCLA’s program prior to COVID-19 focused on hosting on campus.
Currently, the summer program uses webinars to create a transfer process focused on creating a community. These webinars are broken up into groups for students that are first-generation, undocumented, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math students and many other types.
Laura Jurado, transfer mentor at the Transfer Center, said there are a multitude of things to focus on when it comes to financial aid and going to a four-year-college.
Sabrina Pan, transfer counselor at the Transfer Center, said there is a difference between the types of loans that students will be offered when they attend college, the difference is centered on interest.
Subsidized loans accrue interest after a student obtains a Bachelor’s degree.
Unsubsidized loans start accruing interest from the time the when the student receives the loan.
Jurado said grants are free money for students. She said students with questions on financial aid should make an appointment with the Transfer Center for help with going over how much and what type of monies students get from financial aid. Being an active part of this process is key.
Jurado said students should check the type of system their school is using when it comes to financial aid disbursement. Some work on quarters, semester and whole- year funding.
When students are deciding whether to accept certain allotments, Jurado said students should always accept their federal work study offers. She said even if students have jobs that pay well, the option to use this type of offer is something not to be dismissed.
Due to COVID-19 many of the timelines have undergone changes for a variety of schools, Lisa Gomez, transfer mentor at the Transfer Center, said. She said accepting and rejecting school acceptances depends on when you receive the acceptance letters.
Students should keep their eyes on their college’s student portals for important due dates.

Due to COVID-19, many of the timelines have undergone changes for a variety of schools, Lisa Gomez, transfer mentor at the Transfer Center, said.
She said accepting and rejecting school acceptances depends on when you receive the acceptance letters.
Students should keep their eyes on their college’s student portals for important due dates.
Jurado said one of the more important things when it comes to getting ready for a four-year-school is orientation day.
Orientation is the portal for students to get to the many facets of whichever university a college student will attend.
She said it is crucial for time at California State University, Los Angeles.
“You have to go through orientation before you can meet with an advisor,” Jurado said.
Gomez said housing can be broken up into three types:

Campus housing

Off-campus housing

Living alone/with parents
She said students who really want to experience what it is like going to college should look into campus housing.
Walking on campus and being near events occuring on campus forges a connection between students and the university.
She said despite it being great, students should always take into account their financial situation.
The application for housing is separate from applying for classes and should be done as soon as possible to reserve the correct housing accommodations.
Emilio Flores, adjunct instructor and counselor at ELAC, was a part of a workshop meant to inform high school students about how to succeed at ELAC.
He said his purpose was to give students an overview of what it means to attend college as opposed to being in high school.
He said students should know what type of programs there are for degrees and transferring.
“Transfer really begins the moment you start taking classes,” Flores said.
He said when high school students make the move to college, there is a lot of responsibility given to them for their schooling.
He said one important thing is making a connection with high school students and encouraging them to ask for help.
Quintero said the idea for the Student Success Conference started in her first year as a tenured professor.
She was in the South Gate Educational Center and noticed that there were not as many programs for student outreach.
She said she and other faculty and staff, history professor Leonard Melchor and former dean Evelyn Escatiola and South Gate counseling staff, put in the time and effort to create this event to help students participate and learn about their college futures.
She said the event’s workshops and purpose are centered entirely on student success.
“The benefits of these workshops is that students will gain information about their academic goal.
They can ask questions directly to the counselors who are presenting and get the answers on the spot,” Quintero said.

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