Book by: Don Silver
Review by: Karen Bray
Transfer Advisor, College of Engineering
University of Florida
More than 11.5 million people attend community colleges in the US. The American Association of Community Colleges (2008) reports that community college students constitute 46% of all undergraduates.
With the sagging economy, obtaining a community college degree, before transferring to obtain a bachelor’s degree, makes sense; and it is the route that an increasing numbers of college students are taking. For this reason and many more, Don Silver’s book, Community College Transfer Guide, is a welcome and timely publication.
This text is written using matter-of-fact, easy-to-understand terminology. It has short, easy–to-read chapters using a large font. It contains a list of Web sites in every chapter, is cross-referenced throughout, and includes a glossary of terms. It is a comprehensive workbook that incorporates charts, checklists, and practical advice to make the complex transfer issue user-friendly to students, advisors, and faculty.
Silver begins by emphasizing the need to start as early as possible in the transfer process. Once read, students realize that there are a multitude of items transfer students must understand, inquire about, and accomplish if they are to make a successful transfer.
There are a number of features within the text that stand out. The definitions of the five different types of transfer credits are a critical piece that students must understand. Encouraging students to communicate with advisors/faculty at both the initial and receiving institutions is important. The core of the book is the “Top Ten Keys in Transferring.”
Readers will benefit from Silver’s investigation of subjects such as average published versus net prices for tuition/fees, articulated courses as opposed to transferable classes, rankings, retention, accreditations, articulations agreements, and guaranteed admissions. Students can use the step-by-step checklists provided to record their progress.
What the book lacks, and might have been useful to include, are the addition of some facts e.g., the number of community colleges in the country, the yearly community college graduation figures, and other facts regarding those who transfer to four-year institutions. This numeric information would be valuable background information for the reader. This information can be found on the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Web site. Briefs from the report, “Improving access to the baccalaureate” (2004) by AACC and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASC&U) could be expanded upon and referenced in this book as well.
Additionally a discussion in this book regarding “Transfer Shock,” which continues to affect our transfer students, would have been of benefit. Thurmond (2007) provides a good overview of this issue in her NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources article.
Written by a man transformed by the transfer journey he took with his student son, Don Silver’s book, Community College Transfer Guide, provides transfer students with a wealth of resources, advice, and information. Many of the chapters include topics critical to the transfer process. The book contains a summary and advice for students about to take, or in the process of taking, a vertical transfer from a community college. The book is also useful for advisors and faculty.
The American Association of Community Colleges. (2008). CC Stats. Retrieved from August 17, 2009, form http://www2.aacc.nche.edu/research/index.htm.
The American Association of Community Colleges and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. (2004). Improving access to the baccalaureate. Retrieved August 17, 2009, from http://www.pathtocollege.org/pdf/Lumina_Rpt_AACC.pdf.
Thurmond, K.C. (2007). Transfer Shock: Why is a Term Forty Years Old Still Relevant? Retrieved August 17, 2009, from the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources Web site: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues/Transfer-Shock.htm
Community College Transfer Guide. Adams-Hall Publishing. (2009). Silver. Don. 130 pp., $19.99. ISBN 978-094470884-2.