TAP program eases the burden of transferring

Students with a strong desire to learn and move on to a four-year college should check out TAP for assistance.

By Gabriel Arizon, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Academically motivated first-time college students at Valley College looking to transfer to a four-year university are welcome to try and take part in the Transfer Alliance/Honors Program.

TAP/Honors is designed to help students who have not yet earned a college degree transfer to another college. Students enrolled in TAP are able to receive several benefits, including priority registration for TAP sections, special scholarships for UCLA, a designated counseling team for specialized advisement and eligibility for priority consideration for admission to UCLA, Occidental College and UC Irvine. According to the TAP homepage on the Valley website, more than 85 percent of TAP applicants have been accepted to UCLA compared to the less than 30 percent on non-TAP applicants over the past five years.

“The exciting thing about TAP/Honors is that it really allows the students to have a very guided path into their four-year institution,” said TAP Director Yih-Mei Hu. “It alleviates the stress of transferring.”

For TAP students, there are three ways to take honors courses. The first is when TAP offers up to five-course sections that rotate on a two-year cycle, enabling students to plan ahead in order to meet their requirements. The second are mixed sections, which are classes that contain both regular and honor students. The third is to form a contract with Director Hu. It can either be two contracts for a 15-unit program or three contracts for an 18-unit program. The purpose being that if a course was approved, though not yet confirmed to become an honors course, the student could still earn that honors credit.

Director Hu elaborated on how TAP chooses which classes are selected for their program. “Some of those courses would be involved in a major from the college of letters and science,” she said. “A lot of them are really general … that would work for a lot of majors as prerequisites.”

For students coming straight from high school to be eligible, they must at least have a cumulative, unweighted 3.25 GPA or better and a copy of their high school transcripts. Returning college students, meanwhile, are required to have completed at least 15 transferable units with a 3.25 GPA or better, English 101 eligibility, Math 125 eligibility or completion, and a copy of all previous college transcripts.

Once in the program, a student must maintain at least a 3.25 UC transferable GPA, complete Library Science 101, participate in TAP/Honors for at least one academic year or a fall and spring semester prior to transferring and several other obligations. While students must earn a total of 15 to 18 honors units, there is no requirement for the number of honors classes a student needs to take per semester.

However, any student who has earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher is not eligible for TAP. While they have the ability to take approved TAP courses, they will not earn any benefits.

To apply for TAP, students must see TAP Team Counselor Michael Gold on a drop-in appointment in the Counseling Department located in the Student Services Annex to go over their qualifications and obtain an application or visit the TAP homepage to download an application. He can be contacted through his email goldmc@lavc.edu. For a full list of TAP benefits, qualification requirements and approved classes, visit the TAP homepage.