‘Get organized. Have a plan. Make a list. Make LOTS of lists…’
Right around the start of second semester, the initial rush of college flyers usually begin landing in mailboxes. Many students have been considering where they’d like to attend long before, probably since middle school.
But sophomore second semester is when it starts to get far more *real*. All sorts of considerations start to swirl from nebulous cloud into sharp focus. And that’s when organization, planning, and lists come into play.
Here’s a good list of resources to help students get a handle on it all and keep it organized.
California’s higher education system is one of the most massive on the planet, and there are tons of options for getting geared up for college, so it’s good to keep in mind that no matter where a student plans to attend, there are three essentials in every plan:
- Admission Readiness
- Class Selection
- Major Preparedness
All the online resources in this list cover the basics.
One other big area students should consider and plan for is college life planning, with student housing being tops on that list. With community college being an increasingly attractive post-high school pathway into higher education and/or the workforce, getting a handle on housing is more essential than ever. More on that here.
Online College Planning Systems
Associate Degree For Transfer
As noted before, community college is an increasingly attractive option to and through higher education. Associate Degree for Transfer is a community college to CSU transfer-centric collaboration between the California Community Colleges system and the California State University system as a guaranteed degree pathway. Click Here for the A Degree With A Guarantee website.
Another CSU-focused resource is The California State University’s CSU Mentor site where students can learn about the campuses in the CSU system, get financial aid information, and more. It’s College Planning section has a special Transfer Planner for community college students. Click here for CSU Mentor’s Planning section.
The University of California’s Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP), has a comprehensive resources section for all things UC articulation including links to admissions and transfer resources, a handy downloadable College Readiness Planner, and an Academic Planner for keeping track of required high school classes for entrance into the UC and CSU systems. Click here for UC’s EAOP.
The College Board’s official site for finding colleges by name, location, or field of study as well as financial planning, has a dedicated step-by-step college planner. Click here for BigFuture’s College Planner.
This site an online information system focused on transfer requirements and options information. It’s noted as the official up-to-date information resource for transfer info in California, and ironically looks like it’s not been updated since floppy disks were all the rage. Don’t let it’s spartan look fool you: comprehensive transfer info is indeed in-depth here. Click here for the ASSIST site.
What, No Social Media?!
And not to be left out: social media. Pinterest has a College Planner exploration with all sorts of education-centric and general planning resources. Many are downloadable templates students can print out and add to binders and folders, some even featuring detailed legends of classification and prioritization to help select, sort, and manage the information they gather when planning for college. And being social, it’s very sharing-friendly. Check it out here.
Special Note For Counselors and Advisors
The California Community Colleges has the far-reaching Education Planning Initiative that’s developing “a student services portal that will customize and sequence matriculation information and activities to lead students toward successful completion of their goals, and an Education Planning and Degree Audit System to provide transcript, articulation, and curriculum inventory elements to colleges and help college counselors reach more students.” There’s a wealth of information and lots of opportunities for varying levels of professional access and participation. Learn more about the initiative, it’s goals, events, resources and more here.