The Current State of Fresno City College’s Transfer Center

Story By: Maya Padilla, Reporter

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has tested patience and willingness, Fresno City College’s Transfer Center has persevered, according to students and faculty. 

David Shoemaker, Transfer Center Coordinator at Fresno City College shared some of the transfer center’s trials and tribulations of working remotely. 

 The college has been very supportive and done their best to give us the tools we need,” he said. “I think the biggest issues are the ones that everyone else is facing: staying healthy, trying to be your children’s teacher while working, dealing with isolation, missing our colleagues and the students we serve.” 

Currently the Transfer Center is operating Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Most resources such as one-on-one appointments and workshops are held via Zoom. 

Other forms of assistance include pre-recorded videos made to guide students through the process of applying to California State Universities and Universities of California. 

These videos can be found on the transfer center’s webpage.

With most guidance being done remotely, Shoemaker says the absence of in-person appointments and physical interaction has strongly affected him and his staff. 

The transfer center’s computer lab, which was open for students to work on their college applications, has been shut down since the pandemic began. 

Jack Yang, a Transfer Center counselor, confirmed there is now a lack of personal bond and connection with students that one would typically get with in-person appointments.

“Because you don’t have the student in front of you, it’s tough to kind of be engaging and just do the usual things that you’d usually do like show care for the students or show empathy. It’s hard to do that just through voice,” he said.

Since the counselors at the Transfer Center already incorporated technology to their ways of operation prior to the pandemic, it wasn’t too hard for Yang and staff to adjust to working remotely. 

With the help of technical support, it has become very easy for them to operate and navigate through any issues the faculty may experience. 

Throughout the pandemic, FCC has provided students with resources such as Wi-Fi, laptops and many workshops to help students complete their online education. 

Due to the availability and accessibility of technology for a majority of students, Shoemaker feels there has been an increase in students coming to the Transfer Center and utilizing its resources. 

 “We’re actually seeing more students in counseling appointments. I believe that the accessibility and flexibility of online appointments has been a good thing for our students,” he said.

Andrew Chavez, a former FCC student who graduated in May 2020, shared his experience of transitioning from in-person to remote learning and the process of transferring to Fresno State. 

In preparation for this departure, Chavez frequently utilized Transfer Center resources.  

Initially, it was difficult for Chavez to adjust because FCC counselors were still trying to figure out how to operate remotely. 

“They provided as many detailed emails as possible because students had no idea what to do during the pandemic,” he said recalling some of the help he received from transfer center faculty. 

Although he still prefers in-person education, Chavez felt FCC faculty did an efficient job assisting students during the “chaotic” times everyone was experiencing when the pandemic first started.

Even through unprecedented times, the Transfer Center plans to continue operating and assisting students in the same ways as they would before, just remotely.