By the office of Transfer Advising Services (TAS)
To begin with, you should find a career that you will enjoy and want to aspire to and then work backwards from that final point in order to organize what you must do to reach this goal. You should begin by finding out which degree, whether it is an associate’s or bachelor’s degree that you will need to take in order to obtain that dream job. Once you know which degree you need to get your dream job, look at the amount of years it should take for you to complete the necessary degree. Be aware the time span could vary between 2 to 6 years. Finally, look into which classes you are required to take so you can obtain your desired degree. By planning ahead in this way, you are able to figure out how many credits you should be taking each semester so you can finish in the timeframe you want. Consider that you may also complete some classes over the summer and winter breaks if you would prefer to finish sooner.
If the job you want to obtain after completing your education requires you to gain a bachelors degree, explore the four year colleges which offer the major you want. Once you have rounded it down to the colleges that teach the major you are looking for, compare how much it will cost to attend each college, and enquire about possible grants and scholarships you may be eligible for so you can save some money. Be aware that if you are a resident of Wisconsin it will be much cheaper to attend an in state college. If money is an issue, you may want to consider restricting your choice of college to one of those which is located in Wisconsin. On the other hand, if you would prefer to travel and live further away from home, you may wish to consider attending an out of state college, or studying abroad.
If you are having trouble finding the information you need while exploring four year colleges, there are some websites available for you to use that can help you on your way. Majormania shows the majors you can take at all of the University of Wisconsin colleges. collegeboard.org or CollegeNet.com can help you find colleges across the U.S, and which majors they offer. Or, if you are the more adventurous type, findaschool.org can help you find colleges around the world where you can earn your degree.
Once you have identified the college or suitable colleges you are considering to attend, you should discover the required courses for your degree. First, research the admissions requirements that are expected of the college you want to attend, such as the minimum GPA they will accept. The next step of the process is to look into the general education requirements. Finally, the requirements you must meet to be eligible to enroll within your particular field of study. If you are unsure of what to do, or have questions or queries, please feel free to talk to our advisors in the career advising resources office or at the liberal arts transfer office.
Once you have been accepted into your chosen college and program, plan out all of the classes you must take to graduate, then plan out which classes you will take each semester. This way you won’t run in to any problems such as not taking the necessary pre-requisites for other classes. By organizing your schedule and preparing in advance, you will save a lot of time and stress worrying over your future.
If you are in the liberal arts transfer program, or are looking to transfer to a UW system college, you can use the Transfer Information Systems Credit Transfer Wizard to see how your accumulated credits transfer over to your college. If you are planning to attend a four year college outside of Wisconsin, check with that college’s admissions office so you know which classes you will still have to take to gain your degree.
The last step of charting out your coursework plan is to organize the remaining courses you must take to graduate before you transfer to a four year college. If you need financial aid, don’t forget to maintain at least the minimum amount of credits for each semester to stay eligible.
Depending on your situation, it may be more beneficial for you to transfer to a four year college after obtaining an associates degree. Some of the reasons for this could be: the college you want to transfer to has an articulation agreement with Madison College, or you want to take a break from college before working towards earning a bachelors degree.
Other reasons to consider transferring before gaining an associates degree could include: it is a personal goal of yours to gain an associates degree, or you have a job which will pay more once you earn an associates degree.
You may want to consider transferring to a four year college before you gain an associates degree for the following reasons: you realize that you should transfer as soon as possible so that you can finish your bachelors degree in the timeframe you had previously planned, you are a liberal arts transfer student and wish to transfer to the four year college of your choice as soon as possible, or obtaining an associates degree is not a personal goal of yours.
When preparing to apply to a college, do not wait until the last minute to gather and complete the required information, as you may miss the application deadline and waste a semester waiting to enroll. Visit the colleges website and find the dates your information must be completed by, and make sure to give yourself a minimum of at least two months to complete all of the necessary information. Take note of what you have to admit to the college, this may include an essay, reference letters, and transcripts of previous high school and other college classes you have taken.
For those colleges that require an essay for admittance, a large amount of time and consideration should be spent to complete it. Remember, to follow all of the instructions accurately, and make sure the essay has been proofread for spelling and grammatical errors. If you would like additional assistance, you can contact Madison College’s writing center, the advising and career resources office, or the liberal arts transfer office.
Reference letters are a great way of showing off your favorable characteristics. Even though a reference letter is not always required by your college, it is strongly advised that you submit one anyway as it can only strengthen your application. Suitable people to get reference letters from are: former teachers and professors who are aware of your academic abilities and have taught you in the past, past employers, and people who you have worked under if you have done any volunteer work.
Once you have completed your essay and have gathered your reference letters, you should order your high school and college transcripts, and have them sent to your college. If you need a transcript of the classes you have taken at Madison College you can call (608) 246-6213 and follow the directions on how to request your Madison College transcript. Otherwise you can apply for a transcript in person at the Truax campus enrollment center, room 159. Make sure to have the address of the college to which you wish to transfer, as your transcripts will need to be sent there.
Don’t forget to apply for financial aid if you need it, you can do this by visiting the FAFSA website at fafsa.ed.gov. When filling out the application, list all of the colleges that you are applying to so that your FAFSA form will be forwarded to the correct colleges. Note that each college has a different fee payment schedule, so you should contact the college you wish to transfer to, and enquire about these dates.
Before you send off your application, double check that you are submitting all of the items that the college has requested, and send your application well in advance of the deadline to prevent any time issues.
If you need assistance with the transfer process, please contact: Transfer Advising Services office: Room 159AA, (608) 246-6076. Meeting with an advisor at your transfer college/university is also highly recommended.
The following links may be a good source of information: for majors offered at the UW System colleges go to MajorMania. For all other colleges across the United States try collegeboard.org or CollegeNet.com. If you want to attend a college outside of the United States try Findaschool.org. For your Free Application for Financial Aid try fafsa.ed.gov
Browse through the Madison Colleges course listing to find course listings, descriptions, and schedules.
In the Transfer Information System, you can see how Madison College programs and courses will transfer to UW System schools.