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How to Prepare for Your Academic Planning Appointment

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For undecided students:

    1. Do you want to transfer to a 4-year college or university to complete a bachelor’s degree?
    2. Do you want to complete a 2-year career degree that prepares you for entry-level work in a specific field instead of transferring to a 4-year college or university?*
    3. Do you want to complete a short-term certificate that introduces you to a specific career field and supports you in building skills for entry-level work?
  • Explore subject areas within your degree or certificate programs of interest.

    1. Check out the suggested coursework in our course catalog for majors that you are potentially interested in.  You can click the link on each major area for our transfer degree programs, career degree programs, and certificate programs in the course catalog.
      • For example, if you are considering a major in Elementary Education, you can click on Elementary Education  underneath the Associate in Arts transfer degree programs and scroll down to the “Suggested Program.” This allows you to take a closer peek at the classes you may need to take for the particular major you are looking at.
    2. Experiment with our career exploration software to help match your interests, values, personality characteristics, and workplace preferences with different majors and career paths. You can take our free career assessments by signing up for a free PathwayU account.
    3. Explore majors offered at 4-year colleges and universities. If you are interested in transferring, try visiting different college websites to browse all the varied majors and programs that your potential transfer school could offer you.
    4. Make a list of your favorite classes and/or potential majors. It can help to begin tracking what you’re most interested in and include a sentence or two about why this class or this major interests you.

For decided students:

  • So, you have a major or program in mind. Why this major?

      1. Consider taking some time to reflect on the reasons why you’ve chosen a particular academic path. Why is this path important to you? What do you hope to achieve with this major or program?

      2. Review your interests, values, and personality type by taking our free career assessments through PathwayU to see how you fit with a particular major or career path. You’ll also have the opportunity to view local job listings connected to your interests, values, and personality.
  • If transferring, start to narrow down transfer schools.

    1. What’s important to you in a transfer school? Every school is different!Make sure you are applying to schools that offer the kinds of programs that you are interested in. 
      • You will also want to consider where you want to live, how much you want to spend on tuition and cost of living,  and what kinds of financial resources will be available to you. Do some research on college websites and reach out to each school’s transfer admissions office to get more information.
    2. Familiarize yourself with the transfer process. Your advisor is here to help support you through the transfer process. We also encourage you to familiarize yourself with the transfer process for schools in Illinois. You can visit TransferReady to learn more about how Illinois is set up to help community college students transfer their credits to Illinois schools. 
      • The transfer process for out-of-state schools may differ from in-state, so we encourage everyone to establish a relationship with their school’s transfer admissions office to verify how their credits will transfer and what coursework may be required.

For decided/undecided transfer students:

  • Prepare to choose general education courses for your degree.

    • Familiarize yourself with general education options.Depending on what type of transfer degree you choose (AA, AS, AES, or AFA), you will have specific general education requirements for graduation. You can view your general education requirements by clicking on your degree type beneath “University Transfer Programs.”
    • You can view course descriptions of those general education requirements here, or you can download this PDF of general education course descriptions. Note that it will be most helpful to select a few courses from the Humanities/Fine Arts options, Social/Behavioral Science options, or Personal Health and Development options. Your Math, Science, and Communications options may be determined for you based on transfer requirements.