STARS Sending Monarchs to Four-Year Universities

By: Alexandra Avendaño, Staff Writer


With the end of the semester rapidly approaching, the Strategic Team for the Advancement and Retention of Students (STARS) held a Student Success Stories workshop on Thursday.

The workshop consisted of a panel of five Valley College students who will transfer to four-year universities in the fall.

One by one, each student delved into the process they undertook in order to reach their current success in transferring to a four-year institution.

“I didn’t really know if I could actually be a successful as a student, but a few life changes forced me to come back to school and try again,” said mathematics major transferring to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Jean-Carlo Palacios.

Whether a combination of frequent visits to the counselor, trips to the available resources found on campus or involvement in the Transfer Alliance Program (TAP), the workshop covered the possible methods in which students can move forward in their plans to transfer.

Typical issues arising in a student’s life including what classes to take and financial burden of attending school were covered and solutions were offered such as the counseling office and the availability of scholarships handled by the Los Angeles Valley College Foundation.

Other resources that can be found at Valley such as the Writing Center, tutoring and on-campus jobs are available to students.

With the available resources students can find on campus, the panel of students reached more than the necessary general requirements while allowing them to explore different subjects until deciding for a major.

Regardless of the work, it was agreed among the panelists that the most important aspect when it comes to transferring is being a well-rounded student.

“The more involved you are in the community the more you’re going to experience being a college student,” said general studies major transferring to UCLA Victor Rivera.

The panel suggested becoming involved in extracurricular activities either on campus or off in order to enhance college applications, but also gain applicable life experiences that would aid in whatever career path chosen.

However, the recent budget cuts for California community colleges have affected the rate of transfer students statewide. Beginning in 2006, the number of students who have managed to transfer to a four-year university in 6 years dropped to 49.2 percent compared to the previous 2002 rate of 52.3 percent.

Along with Palacios and Rivera, sociology major Albert Sarian will transfer to UCLA, as will history major Michal Jozefiak. Administration of justice major Margarit Soghbatyan will transfer to California State University Los Angeles (CSULA).

In order to become involved with STARS’ effort, send an e-mail to to be added to the mailing list. Their next event, “Let’s do Lunch”, will be on Thursday. May 22 and will be an end the semester social held in the Fireside Room in the Campus Center.

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