Clay Beekman and Avery Smith took dual credit classes in high school, earned their associate degrees after just one year at SRC, and then transferred; Clay to the University of Illinois to major in chemical engineering, and Avery to Illinois State University to major in elementary education.

As an elementary education major, all but one of Avery’s credits transferred. Clay, who was still unsure of his major while at SRC, found that he had taken classes that didn’t pertain to his major, but those that did transferred easily and those that didn’t still transferred as electives. Both took summer classes at SRC while at attending the universities, and those transferred also.

Read on for Q&A about their transfer experience, and their advice to other students.

Q: Do you feel your classes at SRC adequately prepared you for a four-year university?

Clay: While I will say that my classes at SRC were easier than those I have taken here at U of I, I can safely say that they did prepare me for the class difficulty and style of that of a four-year university.  Although the class sizes are much larger at this university, the individual attention I received at SRC and connections that I made with professors helped to equip me with the skills needed to succeed in a more challenging setting.

Avery: I can confidently say that the classes I took at SRC, especially the ones related to my major, prepared me for classes at ISU. I did not feel behind in any way when I transferred to ISU and began to take classes.

Q: If you had it to do over, would you still start at SRC?

Clay: I originally attended SRC after graduating high school because I had already taken classes there prior to attending full-time and, more importantly, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study.  However, even if I did know from the start, I would still start at SRC.  Although the specificity of my major requires many classes not available to students at SRC, the low cost of tuition for a solid education and being able to live at home are a better deal, even if that means graduating a little later. I strongly encourage anyone who does not know what major to study to attend community college.  At SRC you can take all your electives for a fraction of the cost than if you were to take them at a university while still receiving a great education.

Avery: I was unsure of where I wanted to go after graduating from high school, but SRC had been on my radar since I took college classes during high school. If I could go back, I would 100% still go to SRC! I truly believe that there is no reason to go to a 4-year university to do gen ed courses if you can do it for a fraction of the cost at SRC. I advise anyone who is still unsure of what they want to do to go to SRC. While going there, I was able to stay at home, save money, and still get a good education.

Q: Any advice for students who transfer from a community college?

Clay: For me, the biggest difference between community college and a large university is the size of classes.  Big lecture halls with hundreds of students and only one professor can be overwhelming, but don’t let this hold you back from asking for help. Always feel comfortable with reaching out to professors; it’s their job to help you learn!

Avery: My biggest worry about transferring to a bigger university was the social aspect. I would advise anyone planning to transfer to a larger university to put yourself out there and talk to people within your major. I have made so many great relationships with people in and out of my major!