Imagine being constantly waitlisted for classes that are required for your degree. What if you only knew the name of only your professor and your neighbor in each class? Waiting in line for hours with no guarantee that you will actually get to meet with an advisor.
These and other differences have brought many transfers to Pacific. In the case of seniors Kevin Arrowsmith and Leland Devlin, these differences may have brought on a culture shock in both negative and positive ways.
“I wanted to get out of Arizona,” stated Devlin simply. After attending Mesa Community College and the even larger Arizona State University for his prerequisites, Devlin’s experiences had surmounted to be what he said was “kind of pointless.” He felt that only having two tests a semester to determine his final grade in a class left no other way to show overall improvement.
The structure of curriculum at Pacific was far different for Devlin. The smaller class sizes and greater accessibility to faculty gave him other ways to demonstrate his learning and make corrections.
“Here, you can raise your hand for clarification,” explained Devlin.
Not only was his ability to connect with faculty becoming simpler, but also with other students. At the notorious party school, A.S.U., Devlin said “people just act differently.”
More opportunities to socially interact with peers through frequent group projects rather than through crowded weekend parties made Devlin see a “much more personal relationship here.”
Having obtained his prerequisites at Portland Community College, Arrowsmith agreed that the community connections at Pacific were far closer than at a larger school. However, this also revealed flaws that Arrowsmith was not expecting.
At PCC, an institution where the diversity of age groups is far greater, Arrowmith felt that faculty had “more of an understanding that people had other responsibilities.” And when transferring to Pacific, the presence of that diversity and understanding was not as common.
Thus, “Pacific is your life,” said Arrowsmith.
But in the midst of that pressure to devote more time, Arrowsmith admitted “I was surprised we got our own advisors.”
At a larger community college having multiple campuses, more students and a greater variety of classes, Arrowsmith said it was unlikely that a student would meet with the same advisor for each appointment or that they would even meet with one at all. But at Pacific, “you’re not just someone in a long line of people to get through,” said Arrowsmith.
The focus on the individual student’s success is something that Devlin said was also lacking inside the classrooms at M.C.C in that, “they don’t care if you’re at class.”
Devlin concluded about his previous schools “I don’t really miss anything. Pacific suits me a lot better.”
For Arrowsmith’s overall experience, the idea of a small university has been “far more appealing.”
But regardless of their comfort at a small Pacific, the campus continues to grow, and has brought in one of the largest freshmen classes ever this year.
Arrowsmith, however, remains unconcerned about Pacific becoming more crowded, “I was used to it at PCC,” he said.