Valley Forge Military College is dedicated to maintaining its strong academic reputation and insuring that its graduates continue their education at quality colleges and universities. Each year, graduates of VFMC’s Associate degree programs transfer successfully to a college of their choice. The process of preparing to transfer to a competitive college or university at the completion of the sophomore year at VFMC begins with the student’s first semester commitment to academic achievement.
The transfer advisor is a vital link in the transfer preparation program. Students are advised to pursue programs and select courses that will support their academic and transfer goals. The Dean of Student Academic Services and the Director of College Transfer Advising are responsible for assisting students in identifying and selecting colleges and universities that are compatible with their academic objectives and capabilities.
The student-advisor relationship is meant to be informative, supportive, concerned, and one in which effective decision making and academic planning can occur. Information is provided to each student throughout the academic year via individual and group counseling sessions. This information is supplemented with added individual advising sessions, campus visits with admissions representatives, and orientations to assist students the transfer admissions application and for the admissions interviews.
1. How do I select a college?
First, think hard about your career goals, and your intended major in your four year college. Talk to people in the career fields that you are considering. These may be teachers, friends or family members. Do some research through the internet, at the library or bookstore, and by telephone and mail to find out which colleges offer your intended major. Such publications as Peterson’s Guide, Fisk’s Guide, Barron’s and U.S. News and World Report provide useful information regarding college profiles. There are a number of college guides to choose from available in bookstores and on the web. In addition, most colleges have their own websites which provide information on academics, admission information for transfer student, and often virtual tours.
Check out the admission requirements for transfer students, as well as other relevant information on extra-curricular offerings and special programs that interest you. Make sure that the colleges do accept transfer students, and specifically in your intended major. For example, at present, Penn State University Park does not accept transfer students into their business college. Princeton does not accept transfer students at all. Some college admissions restrictions may vary from year to year.
Plan campus visits to get the flavor of the college. Most colleges have a regular schedule of campus tours and information sessions which can be found on their websites. Saturday tours are usually available on specified dates. Once you have narrowed down your college choice list, schedule meetings with admissions and financial aid officials, and with faculty members in your intended department. Sit in on a class or two, and if time permits, stay overnight. Sophomores are authorized one college leave day each semester. Contact the colleges at least two weeks in advance of your visit to assure a productive visitation.
Watch the Transfer Bulletin Board for postings of visits by college/university representatives and trips to campuses in the greater Philadelphia region. Sophomores should schedule an interview with a transfer advisor to review a college list that ideally includes four to five colleges. The list should include at least one “reach” choice, a “security” option, and two “match” selections. Make informed choices that truly excite you.
2. What timeline should I follow?
Students are encouraged to make initial contact with a Transfer Advisor in the spring of their freshman year as they begin to develop their individual transfer plan. At a minimum, students are required to attend the Freshman Transfer Information Session held each spring to provide preliminary advisement.
Freshman Year (First Semester)
Freshman Year (Second Semester and Summer)
Sophomore Year (August/ September)
Sophomore Year (Fall Semester)
Sophomore Year (January through March)
3. How can I achieve maximum credit transfer?
Contact department chairs to learn about prerequisite courses and major requirements for all schools on your list. Then use this information to plan your course of study with your Valley Forge academic advisor. Often admissions representatives refer you to the department heads. Your transfer advisor can be a good resource person, but the final word on acceptable courses is that of the four-year transfer institution.
4. Will my college essay play a major role in the admission decision?
Yes. The essay that you write is a very important supporting credential. Beyond the academic transcript, this writing tells about you personally from your perspective. It is your opportunity to let the admissions representative know who you are and why you will be an ideal addition to the school’s academic community. No magic formula exists for the perfect college essay. In general, the essay should be about one to two double spaced typed pages in length. Often, colleges ask you to describe a personal challenge; they learn about the personal qualities and survival skills and attitudes that you use to solve problems and confront conflicts and crises. Portray yourself and the situation realistically.
Use vivid description and narration to describe people and situations. Specific examples and illustrations help the reader understand your observations.
Write multiple drafts to assure that your best work showcases your content and writing skills. And always word process the final copy.
LTC Nan Hood
Assistant Dean of Transfer Advising