Start Here, Go Anywhere! MiraCosta Prepares Students for Transfer

One of the greatest strengths of MiraCosta College is that it has among the highest transfer rates for community colleges in the region. Not only are MiraCosta College alumni accepted into an array of prestigious four-year universities and colleges, such as UC Berkeley and UCLA, they are succeeding there, too, as our faculty continues to do an exceptional job preparing our students for the academic rigors they will face at the university level.

Students across the nation are increasingly taking advantage of community colleges like MiraCosta. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times reports that the nation's 7.7-million community college students represent 45 percent of all undergraduates in two- and four-year colleges. Of those students, 36 percent are the first in their families to attend college. Plus, a growing number of students from historically underperforming communities are realizing success at community colleges and then transferring to their four-year institution of choice. 
“MiraCosta College is dedicated to transfer students,” said Lise Flocken, faculty director of the Transfer Center. “And because of the strong foundation they receive from the dedicated MiraCosta faculty, our students are exceptional transfer candidates.”
Shirin Marashi and her husband, Hamed Hajiha, agree. The MiraCosta College graduates are excelling at San Diego State University’s highly competitive business program, where Hamed is earning a master’s degree in accounting. He already has secured a job as an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers once he graduates in May and was named this year’s Outstanding Graduate of the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University.
“MiraCosta College is the best,” Hamed said. “The first accounting class I took at San Diego State, I could tell I was ready right away. The preparation I had received from MiraCosta College was much better than the preparation other students in my class had.”
That sentiment is shared by Jaime Figueroa, who transferred from MiraCosta College to UC Berkeley, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He plans to attend law school soon.
“MiraCosta College became my bridge to the rest of the world,” Jaime said. “I am very grateful for my degree from UC Berkeley, but I am more than certain that no single academic accolade or professional title will ever surpass the emotional sentiment that resides within me whenever I have the opportunity to proclaim that I am a proud MiraCosta alum.”
Rosie McDonnell-Horita graduated from MiraCosta College in May 2013 and now is excelling in sociology, with a concentration in social inequality, at UC San Diego. She hopes to earn a master’s degree and Ph.D., and perhaps go to law school. 
“I love MiraCosta College,” she said. “Counselors there were always helpful. They are always looking out for you. They want to see students succeed, and they will move mountains to get it done.”
Rosie, Shirin, Hamed and Jaime are hardly alone. Transfer students have multiple university transfer options. Most students who enroll seek to transfer to a Cal State University campus and others to the University of California through MiraCosta College's Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program. Students who meet various requirements are guaranteed acceptance to UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis and UC Merced. Students also can gain guaranteed access to UCSD through a separate but similar ULink Program.
How has the TAG program fared? For the 2013 fall semester, the University of California system received 1,269 applications from MiraCosta College students. Some 80 percent of those who applied to UC Riverside were accepted, 76 percent of those who applied to UC San Diego were accepted, 75 percent of those applying to UC Santa Cruz were accepted and 70 percent of those applying to UC Davis were accepted. MiraCosta College also has matriculation agreements with Arizona State University, Brigham Young University and USC, among other prestigious universities across the state and nation.
In fact, students from MiraCosta College last year were enrolled in more than 150 four-year universities, including private schools and Ivy League campuses.
Much of our student success is due to the dedication from MiraCosta College faculty whose teaching helps to develop exceptional academic ability in motivated students, and also to our Student Services Division, which provides the support and guidance students need to excel in college.
Meanwhile, our San Elijo Campus is catering to the needs of students motivated to move on to a four-year college or university by increasing its transfer curriculum and positioning itself as a leading transfer institution.
Students looking to graduate from a prestigious university would do well to look at MiraCosta College first. Our students leave here extremely well prepared. And there is no better return on your investment. The same general education classes are smaller than at the university, and a plethora of support services exist in a wonderful climate to learn and engage with others.
When you start at a college committed to student success, a college like MiraCosta, you truly can start here and go anywhere!



Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D.



Interested in learning more about MiraCosta College history? Check out our 80th anniversary video, request a magazine be mailed to your home, or read the full college history online.


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Categories: Community College | Student Success

April 2014 08:12


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