By Ryan Toledo
Summer is approaching fast, and with that comes a two-month break until the next semester. For many students this is a transitioning period from junior colleges to four-year universities. Students put in numerous hours of blood, sweat and tears to get to this point in their academic career. Some students choose universities close to home, while other choose to venture to new states. Where ever these group of students are choosing, they all have one common ground, they started their college career at COC.
College of the Canyons is a junior college that students from near and far choose to attend before journeying to a four-year university. COC offers many programs that prepare students to transition into their higher education.
Alexa Hesselendez, a COC alumna, transferred to Belmont University last fall. Hesselendez is a music management major.
“I was not ready to leave home right out of high school, COC gave me an opportunity to prepare myself for what was to come in my academic career.”
Hesselendez earned enough transfer credits to leave after completing one year at COC. “COC was such a great foundation for me to start my college career. I would not change my decision to attend COC, it helped me get to where I needed to be,” explains Hesselendez.
COC is a stepping-stone in these students’ academic career. The amount of time that students spend at this institution varies. On average, most students finish their general education credits and are able to finish in two years. For some students it takes a little longer.
Jess Zbinden is ending her third year at COC and claims she is “appreciative of her time here.” Zbinden committed to California State University, Northridge and will be studying business management there this fall. While working and going to school full-time, Zbinden was able to maintain over a 3.0 GPA. “It was hard. I won’t sugar coat that for any incoming students. I will say though, that it was definitely worth it.”
When asked what she is most excited for when transferring to CSUN Zbinden explained, “The library! I can’t wait to explore it and study in it.” She is fully prepared for the long hours of studying that await her at this new university.
COC gives students the experience of college courses, without the pressures that comes with going to a four-year out of high school. This is a time of preparation and transitioning where students are able to try not only grow in their academics but also as individuals.
Jacelyn Kafesjian, a sophomore at COC, has committed to UC Santa Barbara as a communications major. “COC is more than just a school to me. I feel like I was able to grow as a person in a very supportive environment,” Kafesjian explains, when asked how COC has helped shape her as an individual.
College of the Canyons offers many different outlets for students to succeed such as the TLC, EOPS, as well as many other clubs. “I will miss the TLC, the tutors in there are such a big part of my success as a student here,” explains Kafesjian, “the professors also left a lasting impression on me and I am grateful for their help.”
While many students choose to go straight into a four-year university out of high school, the ones who chose COC do not regret it.
“Looking back I would not change my decision. I loved my time spent at COC. It has prepared me for the next level and I feel excited for this new journey I am about to embark on. I more ready than I ever thought I could be,” Zbinden says.