Students take gen-ed classes before transfer


Sam Gauntt

Almost half of all students plan to transfer to four-year schools. Many of them take their gen-ed classes at AACC.

Sam Gauntt, Associate Editor

Whether students attend community college or a university for their first couple of years of higher education, approximately one-third of the classes they take will be the same.
Those classes, including 100-level English, math, humanities and science courses, are called “general-education” classes.
Sulita Feinblum, who graduated this summer, discovered this when she talked to an academic adviser, who told her that not all classes transfer to a four-year university—but general-education classes do.
“I came into AACC to talk to my adviser, telling her about what my future plans were,” Feinblum said. “And she helped me. She brought me to the website that showed me transfer classes. And I only took classes that I knew would transfer. So … that was neat, and really helpful, because I don’t need to retake those when I get there.”
Like Feinblum, many students take general-education credits in order to transfer to four-year universities.
Approximately 46% of students at the college plan to transfer to a four-year university, according to Marcus Wright, director of transfer, articulation and career alignment.
For an associate degree from AACC, students take between 28 and 36 gen-ed credits. To graduate from a four-year university, they need 40 to 48 gen-ed credits.
Wright said general-education courses are “foundational courses that essentially, kind of … make students more well rounded, but also build upon what they’re going to learn later on.”
Many students start at community college instead of at a university because tuition for the gen-ed classes here—the same courses they would have to take at a four-year school—is considerably less.
Mariyah Alexander, a second-year nursing student, said she takes classes at community college because they are cheaper.
“I will eventually go to a four-year [university],” Alexander said. “But just for now, this is what’s best for my schedule, being able to work as well.”
Feinblum said being able to transfer with her gen-ed credits makes the transition between community college and university easier.