For many Glendale Community College students who plan to transfer to a university, the coming years of higher education remain a mystery.
However, Carlie Fugate, a recent GCC to Arizona State University transfer student, is delving into university life and learning the differences.
This spring marks Fugate’s first semester at ASU’s campus in Downtown Phoenix, as well as the beginning of earning her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Psychology.
“The transfer process was very easy and smooth. Little to no complications, and the advisors are very kind and accommodating,” Fugate said.
ASU’s spring semester began on Jan. 7, which was Fugate’s first day of classes at ASU’s downtown campus.
The campus, located near the light rail on 555 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix, is known as the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. In addition, the campus also offers a degree program in Social Work.
Fugate finds the campus to be a great place to study and grab a bite to eat in between classes.
“The Downtown Phoenix ASU Campus is structurally beautiful. I also like the food selection, and the number of places to sit down and do homework—and how comfortable their couches and chairs are,” Fugate said.
One difference that Fugate notices is the change in class setting, as compared to GCC.
“I have one [class] that is smaller than any class I’ve had at GCC with about 15-20 people. Another class is larger than any class I’ve had at GCC with about 150-200 people,” Fugate says.
Along with the varying class sizes, help from professors has proved to be a different experience as well. Fugate finds that many university-level professors are not as accessible as the professors she had at GCC.
“The instructors at ASU have fewer office hours and availability than GCC instructors. GCC felt more personal in my opinion,” Fugate said.
The personal aspect of GCC that Fugate describes has helped give her a foundation for success, even early within the semester.
“My GCC courses definitely helped me at ASU. I learned how to write APA papers, and develop great study habits. Because GCC is so personalized and focused on student success, rather than just putting up a power point and reading from it for the entire hour and 15 minutes, I learned things easier because of that student-teacher connection at GCC. It’s one of the things I’ll miss most,” Fugate said.
The aspects, which Fugate misses at GCC, are the ones that have helped her prepare for university-level classes. Though she is still getting used to the new environment, Fugate is optimistic about her future at ASU.
“I’m taking 15 credit hours. My favorite class so far is my Social Work 291, in which I need to complete 40 volunteer hours at an organization in social work. I’m really excited about diving into my field and getting experience,” said Fugate.
Fugate’s gratitude towards her years spent at GCC gives reassurance to students striving for success at community college in order to transfer to a university.
GCC student, Kristina Fox, shares the view that GCC will prepare her for university in the future.
“At GCC, attending class is necessary to fully understand class material, which I expect is the same at university-level. There are good classes and professors who want their students to succeed at GCC, as long as the student is motivated,” said Fox.
Self-motivation seems to be key, and developing motivation at community college level will help, especially when newly attending a university.
Based on Fugate’s experience so far, GCC has given her enough knowledge to prepare her, and other like-minded students, for the years ahead.