Aaron Tan / Courier Students walking outside the Campus Center at Pasadena City College, Wednesday, August 29 2018. This week is the first week for the fall semester
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The PCC transfer center is holding college transfer application review parties for students applying to Cal State LA. Transfer center staff has its best and brightest working alongside university representatives to help students fill out their college applications.

“If they get stuck on a particular question, staff are able to address it immediately,” said PCC Director of Outreach and Transfer, Tameka Alexander. “We have university reps that are in the back, so if they want Cal State LA to review their application, that’s a service that they’re able to get as well.”

Last year, there were students throughout the state of California who were denied college admission because of a technicality. CSU has stated that if an error was made that the student could do an appeal but there was no guarantee that they would overturn the decision, so those students denied were just encouraged to apply the next year. Fortunately, PCC was able to negotiate with Cal State LA for them to physically come here and review student applications before they submit, allowing students to submit with confidence.

“One of the things our staff will do is they will look for common errors,” said Alexander. “Our staff will not review but they will look for common errors and then recommend the student connect with that CSU person that could do the official review. “

The old CSU application asked for basic information, whereas the new application requires the student provide all of the details about courses they’ve taken in the past. There are students that are unaware of the details of their academic record and need to be pointed in the right direction to obtain that information.

“The new application requires that you list every single course you’ve ever done from every institution you’ve ever attended, and so that has become a bit cumbersome for students, but they’re getting through it and we’re providing as much support as possible,” said Alexander.

There are students who are finding the new Cal State applications to be extremely tricky. The transfer center staff is there to guide students, and because it can be such a stressful process, it helps put students at ease.

“If there is an error and that student is denied then they have a leg to stand on,” said Alexander. “That student could say that they met with a university representative from Cal State and that university has to overturn that decision because that is their employee that provided that information.”

Students normally drop by the transfer center for basic information about when they should apply, other students just need a space to fill out applications.

“We had over 600 students here one day, so it is up to the student to put on their information accurately,” said Greg Wontorek, outreach and transfer advisor. “If they have a question about a certain area, how to fill it out, that’s what we’re here for.”

Depending on the student’s need, staff members and university representatives pace the aisles helping students with all sorts of questions.

“My expertise is the personal statement,” said transfer advisor Eileen Parungao, “The way students distinguish themselves from other applicants is through their personal insight questions. Often it’s awkward to talk about yourself, so I like to listen to student stories, and be a reflection of that student.”

Last year that there were 35 PCC Students that were originally denied and they were able to get that overturned because it was an error on behalf of the CSU campus.

“I was asking around for help and they sent me here,” said sophomore Jeff Paccone. “It’s pretty good, I can get the application done faster.”

There have been six sessions so far and for the transfer application partie and on n days when official meetings are not held, the open lab sessions at the transfer center continue to provide students with the guidance they need to apply to college.

“We’re calling it “parties” just to add a little pizzaz, so students don’t think it’s another boring workshop,” said Alexander,  “And for us we know that’s they’re application is gonna be right and for us that’s a party.”

Originally the deadline for the Cal State LA application was Nov. 30, but the the deadline was extended due to the California wildfires So the new deadline for all  of the 23 California State Universities is Dec. 15.

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