Coronavirus Concerns Transfer-Bound Students

Students worry over their admission to universities due to cancelled classes and struggles to complete courses online


Students who intend on transferring at the end of the spring semester may be in jeopardy because the class they need has been canceled. Photo Illustration: Leni Santos/SAC.Media.

With the closing of college campuses all over the country and the commitment of many to shift to online classes for the remainder of the semester, many students who plan to transfer in the fall of 2020 are experiencing difficulties as the nature of the courses are changing.

A post on Mt. SAC’s newsroom website includes a “message from the president,” where a section for employees states, “While the college has earnestly and creatively converted thousands of classes online, some classes will not be able to transition online and will need to be cancelled.”

Cancelled courses will prevent students from being able to complete transfer requirements. Along with these cancelled courses, not all courses adjust online easily, not all students and professors have the technology to be online and not all students have the environment to complete schoolwork at home. These dilemmas are leaving students wondering what will happen with their abilities to transfer.

Christian Lopez, political science major, has been a student at Mt. SAC for four years and plans to transfer in the fall, but questioned if he would be able to do that, given the current situation.

“Many of the classes feel self-taught. We are all procrastinating, and we don’t know if we’re going to be able to transfer out this semester,” Lopez said. “After speaking with a counselor, she did recommend I drop my [biology] class because I was already struggling with it even before it was online.”

The class that he was originally enrolled in was needed to complete a transfer requirement for the University of Southern California USC, and he is unsure what that would mean for his admission, due to his inability to complete the course.

Many four-year universities have released information for transfer students to ensure that they still have the ability to transfer.

USC’s admissions website regarding the coronavirus states, “We are able to accommodate the contingency plans implemented by other schools, including the use of virtual classrooms and finishing the school year remotely. We will be understanding in our review, but withdrawing from classes entirely may affect your application.” On the website, it is also stated that students experiencing problems with completing application requirements should contact a counselor to discuss the situation.

Mt. SAC has recently announced that the college would give students the option to switch from receiving letter grades to pass or no pass, as many other schools have already done. Many university websites state that the colleges will be accepting this for students who are taking required courses during the Spring of 2020.

According to a statement from the Cal State University chancellor’s office, “The CSU will consider course grades of ‘credit’ or ‘pass’ as fulfilling ‘a-g’ requirements for those courses completed during winter, spring or summer 2020 terms.”

According to the University of California Admissions website, the UCs have “temporarily relaxed some undergraduate admissions policies to ensure… transfer students are not penalized by their inability to earn letter grades for academic classes or take standardized tests during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Lopez said that he spoke with other students who were in his shoes.

He said, “We are all scared because nobody knows what’s going on with our classes and what four-year colleges will be accepting because they are all vague responses.” Lopez said that the two-week pause in the semester was also unhelpful because of the inability to speak to counselors about what was going to happen and how students should have prepared for it.

Another dilemma that transfer students are facing is the inability to visit the campuses that they are considering attending. USC, for example, has cancelled all campus tours through May 29, although they do have virtual tours for those who are interested in attending the college that can be viewed online.

Mt. SAC does currently have a way for students to get help and advice on their courses. This is through the Virtual Transfer Center, where students can ask staff questions regarding transferring via call, text or through Zoom meetings, according to Mt. SAC’s transfer website. They also have an Instagram page, @mtsactransfer, with more information.

There is also the Mt. SAC completion center that students looking to graduate or transfer can contact and get assistance from. The Mt. SAC president’s cabinet notes states that the purpose of the Completion Center is to “ensure that students getting closer to completing receive targeted support and milestone type services.” It provides counselors and other resources for students to ensure they can complete their required courses. They also have an active Instagram page, @mtsac_completioncenter, with more information on how to get transfer assistance.