Monday, March 29, 2010

Good News from UCSD!

The University of California at San Diego will allow international students to participate in the Transfer Admissions Guarantee (TAG) program for the Fall 2011 admissions cycle. Click the link below for details:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

AP (Advanced Placement) Exams

Some students have expressed an interest in taking AP exams for U.S. college credit or to fulfill transfer or graduation requirements. Here is a link to the College Board's AP website with information on how to take an AP exam:

If you are interested in taking an AP exam, please contact the College Board for more information.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Who do I work for?

Many international students are understandably quite interested in the University of California system, and especially in the UC Berkeley and UCLA campuses. Those are world-renowned institutions with many highly recognized and regarded programs.

However, international students attending or planning to attend DVC need to understand that my primary role at DVC is to help students understand the MINIMUM requirements involved for transferring from DVC to a CSU or UC campus. I often get questions from students about UC statistics and practices that I am simply unable to answer because I do not work for the UC system.

There are, though, websites that students can access to find some of the answers to their questions. Here are a few of the UC-related websites I commonly refer students to:
1. is the UC system portal to the world. At this website students can learn about the various UC campuses, their programs, and even apply online.
2. is a website from the University of California Office of the Chancellor. Here students can run customized tables showing various statistics for the UC campuses, including admissions rates and average GPA's for newly admitted students from the California community colleges.
3. is the website that students and counselors use to determine which courses a student should take to transfer into a particular program in a CSU or UC campus. It is also useful for exploring the majors offered in the CSU and UC systems.
4. is a link to the DVC Transfer Center's schedule of representatives visiting the DVC campus from various universities, including UC Berkeley. The BEST source of information about a particular UC campus is a person who actually works at that campus. Students currently attending DVC are welcome to meet with these representatives to find out more about transferring to that UC campus.

One final thought to share: Students have the mistaken notion that there is some sort of "secret formula" to follow to get admitted to a selective UC campus. The fact is that the admissions process is a highly subjective process that examines not only quantifiable data, such as GPA and course completion, but also qualitative information such as a student's background, the student's extracurricular experiences (e.g. leadership experience and community service), employment history, and more. There is no counselor anywhere who can accurately predict a student's chances for being admitted to a selective campus or program. The best advice we can give students is to get as high a GPA as possible, get involved in extracurricular activities that are driven by the student's passion and not by whether or not the student believes that is what the selective campus is looking for, and to tell their own story in the application's personal statement. And the final piece of advice? Don't take rejection from a selective UC campus personally. It does not mean that you are not a good student; it simply means that the UC campus was not able to admit you at that particular time. Consider that many famous and successful people in the world did NOT attend UC Berkeley or UCLA, nor any other "famous" or "selective" campus, yet they are leading happy and productive lives. You can, too, because happiness and success are relative terms that are mainly the products of one's personal choices.