It’s a paradox. A majority of students attend Pasadena City College to get out of it.

Unfortunately, many students do not escape quickly enough as it is not uncommon to spend three years or more transferring.

On a brisk Saturday morning, high school students willingly wrapped themselves in jackets and lined up outside the Creveling lounge to learn how to avoid this very situation.

The students were escorted by their parents to the Asian and Pacific Islander Advisory Committee’s event ““Paving a Successful Pathway: From High School to College, Career and Beyond.”

Pathways, a program that streamlines incoming high school students to PCC, works with students to transfer to a four-year college in a timely manner.

“What I know about the first year of Pathways is that there is a higher retention rate and higher success rate,” said Lily Tran, a student success coach of Pathways students.

However, Pathways cannot be joined if you are not already enrolled. Many keys to the success of the Pathways students are available to everyone, it’s that many simply do not know about it.

One pressing question that will haunt students for the rest of their college life is:

what’s your major?

First, if students are unsure of their major, it’s okay.  They can head over to the L building and right in the front is the Career Center.

There, students can take a career aptitude test.  Bear in mind, that this is not a magic test that will decide the rest of the student’s career. The test simply narrows down the choices.

It is highly recommended to make an appointment with a special career counselor in the same department so that the student and counselor can cooperate to make heads or tails of the hundreds of jobs the career aptitude test spews out.

Secondly, go see a standard counselor—as soon as possible.

Simply make a right from the career center and head down the hall to drop in for five to ten minutes to ask a couple of quick questions.

Andrea Lane, a counselor at PCC, suggests that if students need more advice, they should “go to the drop-in desk and then ask to see one of the counselors for a thirty minute appointment.”

“So you’re probably wondering what we do for those thirty minutes, we go ahead and talk to you about what your educational goals are and we line out and educational plan,” Lane said. “An educational plan is a good idea of what you should take until you meet your goal.”

Having a direction, even a tentative one, allows students to take a step forward as opposed to taking random classes which is like driving around in a circle hoping to find an exit.

Thirdly, once the educational plan is in place, students can now head over the transfer office in L110.

Tameka Alexander, the interim director of outreach and the transfer center, said that students do not need an appointment to see a transfer advisor.

“If somebody wants to meet with a University Rep, like UCLA, Berkeley, and you can schedule an appointment,” Alexander said.

Schools that visit PCC often include UCLA, Cal. State LA, USC, Arizona State University, UCI, Cal Poly, and Cal State Northridge.

“Go to the source to get information about transfer,” Alexander said. “If you’re even remotely thinking about transferring come there because often times students will get information about a friend that went to a University a year before. But requirements change…so come to the Transfer Center and talk to our transfer reps, we’re the experts.”

Whether students have a sense of where they’re heading in their college career or they possess direction whatsoever, they should head L building because the experts there will help them take the next step.

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