Learn the pros and cons of UCLA's Transfer Summer Program before deciding if you want to commit to it.
Your stomach feels out of place as you see the loading sign on your screen. The time it takes to load the screen feels longer than the last 10 seconds of your microwave. But as you log into your portal, you see it. You just can not believe it. Or maybe you can, and you're not surprised.
You're UCLA Bound"
The next few minutes are a blur of excitement, pride, and anxiousness. But then you're left thinking "Now What"?
Many transfers don't hear about the Transfer Summer Program (TSP) until their friends/roommates are talking about their experiences during the school year. Still, they wonder if they would have gained anything in the program. Here is a guide to help you decide if it's right for you!
1.GPA booster (but at what cost?)
The program is designed to help you transition from community college to the university. Therefore, there are resources implemented to make it easier. You get a Peer Learning Facilitator (PLF) that meets several times a week (also for review sessions) and the professors take your feedback and meet every week to cater to you. While it is helpful to have over the course of the program, you don't have it during the academic year, at least not as catered to you. Therefore, you're not as prepared to take on the content.
2. Get to know the campus.
Sigh. This is a sweat, a blessing and a curse. If you don't already know, the campus is a valley itself with both hilltops being the campus and the residence halls. I will tell you this now, you don't ever really get used to it. Just when you think you're getting used to the trek, the seasons change and you have yet another variable to deal with. Nonetheless, it's always great knowing where your classes are going to be and where to direct people when they're lost.
3. Making friends and networking.
So, there's no con with this one. You just make friends. Some will deviate from your life path after TSP, others will be your ride or die. It's even better sometimes because you'll be in the same major or have classes together and you can have a study buddy ready to form a group!
If you didn't do or have the TAP program at your community college, you are enrolled in enough units so that when you pass your classes, you are eligible for the honors program at UCLA. Take advantage of the opportunity because it will come in handy when you want to graduate with distinctions.
5. Academic advancement program.
Another resource you want to take advantage of. As a TSP student, you are automatically registered for AAP. For you to get access to PLF sessions during the school year, you must be an AAP student, so it is definitely helpful to already have that in your corner.
Depending on how you look at it, this can either be a good thing or a bad thing. The workload is heavy. You are expected to take three courses and keep up with the work. It's not easy but it is definitely doable. This is what will help in the coursework of the academic year. There is so much reading for your classes, it's always hard to keep up, but having been exposed to a similar workload in the summer, I feel I was prepared to take on the readings for my classes.
Ultimately, it is your decision whether you feel TSP is for you or not, but I met some great people in the program, and while we've all gone our separate ways for the year, I feel blessed to have met them. I would not be as organized with my work if it weren't for TSP, so if you can, I'd say do it!
*Disclaimer: These are based on my experiences in the biochemistry cohort, not at all inclusive of other cohorts.