If you spent your first two years in higher education at community college, worried that you lost out and won´t do as well at a four-year school, meet Jeff Yoshimi.
The UC Merced professor and advisor to the Transfer Student Association enjoys helping out with student activities in TSA because he’s a child of the California community college system – literally.
“My parents met at a community college, so I wouldn´t exist if it weren´t for a community college,” he said.
He also owes his academic career to two-year schools.
“I didn´t do well in high school,” he said. “The transfer program really allowed me a second chance.”
Yoshimi attended Pasadena Community College before going on to UC Berkeley and ultimately earning his Ph.D. at UC Irvine, so he knows firsthand about transferring.
The TSA provides new and current transfer students with opportunities to meet other transfers, get involved in student affairs and generate awareness of transfer-student issues.
One of those issues is “transfer shock.”
“It´s especially hard for transfer students who are working,” Yoshimi said, because of the more demanding and competitive academic environment.
The TSA assists incoming students by offering study groups, social events, peer counseling and information on everything from financial aid to student housing.
It can also be harder for transfer students to connect with other students because they are older and have missed the orientation process for incoming freshmen.
TSA members barbecue, bowl, spike volleyballs and eat dinner together. Twenty to 40 students show up for each event, Yoshimi said.
Many TSA members find they have something more in common – coming from the Central Valley.
UC Merced is a popular choice for Modesto Junior College graduates because students don´t want to relocate and are attracted to the opportunities of a brand new campus, said June Young, MJC career development and Transfer Center specialist. Many students also transfer to UC Merced from community colleges in Fresno, Merced and other Valley towns.
Students who transfer in to UC Merced can look forward to getting a personal phone call from the TSA, asking what the group can do to help them.
“We like to offer a personal touch,” Yoshimi said.
For more information on TSA events, contact Harry Ramirez at firstname.lastname@example.org.