Dubear Kroening: Thanks for coming in today. Its† good to see you. When I saw you in the hallway, as I talked to you beforehand its always good to come in knowing what you want to major in and where you want to transfer to.
†Now I know a lot of students might be undecided and thatís ok. I mean we can work with that, but it you do know where you want to go and what you want to major in it helps a lot because then you can access that universityís website to figure out what kind of courses they want you to take in that specific program.
What I want to help you with today is figuring out what kind of classes you can take here in order to be able to make the transfer to that institution a lot easier. That way youíre not taking any classes that you donít need and youíre not wasting any money on things like that. The reason for this is that they are the ones who are accepting your transcript when you transfer there and so it becomes important that you are doing the things that they want you to do.† They have control over that because they are the ones that are accepting you.
One of the ways that you can check on this is by using the Transfer Information System. I think this was demonstrated to you during your FOCUS in the summer time, but I like to bring it up again because a lot of students kind of forget about it and donít realize how handy it is. So the TIS is located right from the UW Fox Valley web page and if you go into academics there is a drop down menu that tells you about the Transfer Information System. When you get in there you can look for transferring from Fox to whatever university you want to transfer to thatís in the UW System and then you pick the field of study, letís say biology and in biology you can select all of the biology classes or a specific course. So If you want to know how the class is going to transfer you can easily check it out there and make sure that it transfers well. You donít want to get stuck taking a course that then you wonít get credit for it if you transfer.
One of the things I think is very important is if itís not going to cost you any more money and it doesnít take any extra time its often good to apply for an associateís degree. It doesnít cost anything for the degree itself you just have to apply to get it. Youíre taking a lot of general education requirements which is essentially what you need for your first two years of a bachelorís degree. And so by getting an associateís degree it provides you with a couple of different advantages.
First of all, if you donít know what you want to major in you have to take these general ed classes anyway and so it kind of gets those out of the way and has it so that when you transfer to another institution you come in as a junior. You donít have to worry about whether youíve taken the right classes or not. Often times too if there is some kind of picky requirements as far as you know taking a gym class or something like that, if you have an associateís degree, for the most part, for most of the universities theyíll just waive any kind of picky requirements they have and you come in as a junior. So that can save you a lot of headache as well.
Not only that, but I understand you plan on getting a bachelorís degree eventually, but sometimes what happens is you might get married or you might have to start working to take care of your parents or something else and when you have an associateís degree it allows you to earn more than if you just had a high school diploma. So itís again, as long as it doesnít cost you anymore time or any more money why not do it, you know? It really makes a lot of sense. So, its something you certainly want to think about.
With that in mind, and I believe you got one of these during FOCUS again, but thereís this associateís degree planner, the blue sheet, where you can kind of figure out exactly what kind of courses you need to take, and as you fill that out and try and fulfill all those requirements prior to graduation, probably in the last semester before you would transfer, you can sit down with somebody in student services and do whatís called an associateís degree audit.† You probably want to do that right before your last semester because they check to see what kind of classes youíve taken, kind of go through the planner with you and if thereís anything thatís kind of funny, or missing you can be sure to get that last class, so youíll be able to maybe get that ethnic studies requirement that you would need in order to be able to get the associateís degree. Okay?
The other thing I like to mention is the fact that since youíre coming in here as a new freshman, you havenít taken classes anywhere else, we have something here thatís called the Guaranteed Student Transfer. And again that is a piece of paper or form that you would fill out down at student services and what that does is you tell them what institution you want to transfer to and what your major is going to be. Then when it comes time to transfer that piece of paper guarantees that as long as you maintain a certain grade point average which I think is 2.0 for most of the universities, but I think is a 2.75 to transfer to Madison. Youíre guaranteed to get in there, so it makes it a lot easier to be able to go from high school, take classes here and then youíre guaranteed letís say to go to UW Madison whereas how if you were competing right out of high school itís a lot tougher to get in. So thatís a real good advantage to coming to UW Fox, that a lot of our students might not take advantage of or might not even be aware of, so I like to let students know about that as well.
One of the things is, even though you sign up for that it doesnít mean youíre locked in. Letís say you decided that when you signed up for it you filled out the form saying you wanted to go to UW Green Bay, and study in chemistry. Well maybe you change your mind and now you want to go to UW Madison for pre-med. You can still go to UW Madison, the only deal is that youíre still going to have to apply just like everybody else, but assuming your grades are good and whatnot itís not a problem. So, youíre not locked in, in any way. It gives you an advantage but there is really no disadvantage to doing it. So, again, good for you even if you donít use it you always have that to fall back on just in case.
Another thing while weíre talking about it, lot of students really arenít aware of this but the UW Fox Valley foundation, what they do is, one of the things that they do is they raise money for student scholarships and again on the UW Fox Valley website under the current students thereís a link there for the UW Fox scholarships. And there are many differing scholarships from many different places sometimes thereís scholarships from where your parents work or where you work. Those are all individual things.
†The link here thought usually comes up around early December and the deadlines are sometime in February depending on whether youíre a returning student or whether youíre going to transfer to somewhere else. Cause we also award scholarships for students who are leaving Fox and transferring to another institution. So you have some time there, you have a couple months there from when they first open it up and the nice thing about it is, you fill out one form and what student services will do, is go through and see which scholarships you are eligible for, so theyíll actually do kind of a lot of that searching work for you and put you into those right scholarship opportunities, so you donít have to do any of that leg work yourself. You just fill out one form. Obviously, like a said, there are other scholarships available, thatís something youíll have to look into on your own, but this makes it really easy. Just this last fall the UW Fox Valley foundation awarded over $150k in scholarships to over 100 students.
†So thereís a lot of money available and sometimes students arenít aware of it or theyíre kind of nervous about it because theyíre worried. You know, maybe my grade point average isnít good enough. Well, grade point average comes into play with a lot of scholarships, but not with all of them. And sometimes there are very specific requirements, maybe youíre in a certain sport and youíre transferring to a certain institution and that makes you one of maybe 2 or three people that would be eligible and so, you know, it doesnít hurt to fill out the application. It doesnít cost you any money and Iíve had students that have come back to me later and have said thanks for telling me about this cause I just got you know $1000 to go to Oshkosh that I wouldnít have had before. The UW Fox Valley foundation raises the money for these scholarships students really should take advantage of it.
And the last thing before we get into the specifics of what courses youíre going to take and thinks like that is your appointment time in PRISM and that can be a little bit confusing because the appointment time is not the time that you, as I told you, itís not the time that you come in here and make an appointment to see me and we go through this and I can take the hold off your record. The appointment time is when you can actually sign up for classes and since you donít have as many credits as some of the other students youíre towards the end of the line in signing up for classes.
So, what I tell all my advisees is, like Iím telling you now, on that date at that time I would be sitting at the computer ready to sign up for your classes so that way you donít have to worry about the class being full and you not getting the one you want or you not being able to get into that specific class and then you kind of have to scramble and figure out what is going on. It always helps to have a good plan of what you want to do when you come in here and we can talk about different things, but as youíre doing this now why not just kind of sit down and figure out what youíre going to do not only in the spring semester, but in the fall and next spring, or you know kind of plan out your whole time at Fox here so that way you know what kind of courses you need to take.
Sometimes courses are only offered in the fall or the spring and so youíve got to watch out for things like that. And I want to make sure that you donít end up, you know, getting a year behind because you need to take a class as a prerequisite for another class and you find out well its only offered this semester and you have to wait a whole year before its offered again. Those are the type of things that really help as far as planning things out and making sure that you use your time here efficiently, wisely and it makes you very successful when you move on toÖ
Had a student that transferred on to UW O from here and what had happened was, let,s see if I remember this correctly. There was a couple things. One of them was that I had mentioned before that advantage of getting an associateís degree. When you get an associateís degree they waive the first two years and so what had happened was he had almost all the credits he needed for an associateís degree, he was missing one class, like a social science class, or something along those lines. Maybe an ethnic studies, you always want to get that ethnic studies out of the way. And because he didnít have that they had told him that he would have had to have taken 3 more classes in sequence, so he would have had to have taken one class in one semester, wait Ďtil the next semester to take another one and then a third semester for another one. So, that was another year and a half.
†What he ended up doing was coming back to Fox taking that one class that he had been missing for his associateís degree. When he took that he get his associateís degree, they waived that first two year requirement and he was able to graduate but just going one semester instead of going a year and a half for three semesters. So thatís something, that, you know, also kind of backs up the idea of getting an associateís degree because then you can kind of get away, around some of the stuff.
And interestingly enough, the same student had difficulty with when he was here he had looked at TIS and on TIS it told him that the class would transfer as a certain class. By the time he had left Fox and transferred to UW Oshkosh they had changed that requirement and it no longer counted. However, because he had printed of the Transfer Information System showing how it transferred† during that year. And you donít even need to print them off you can get access to earlier ones if you really need it. He was able to show that to UW Oshkosh to the registrarís office or wherever they do that and they had to accept it. Youíre essentially grandfathered in once that happens. So, thatís always a good thing to know as well.
Another thing that I wanted to mention was this idea that sometimes, for example thereíll be a certain class that may transfer all of the UW institutions except for one or two as a specific class for a specific major. Now, why this happens I donít know. I know that some people are working on this trying to get everything transferred more smoothly, but it takes time. You know, itís a process that we go through. But in the meantime what you can do sometimes is appeal or request to have them accept that class as the class that it is designated as for that specific degree. And so, I have a couple of examples of this. One is with my genetics class the other is with BIO 109 for people who are transferring to Bellin. A couple years ago they didnít accept them, but the students would then say well I took this class, itís essentially the same things as what youíre looking for, will you accept it. What they would do then is come back to me and I would send a letter stating what the class was about. Iíd send a copy of my syllabus and low and behold almost every time I do that they then accept that class because they understand that itís legitimate.† So, if you run into problems, you may† want to consider something like that as well.