Ken Fitzgerald left the Bay Area for Shasta to sell cars almost 10 years ago. He said he was successful at it, but something was missing. He knew there was more to life than watching customers kick the tires. He also knew that completing his college education was the right path. Now, with a newly minted Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) degree in communication studies from Shasta College, Fitzgerald is headed to California State University, Chico in the fall.
“I had bounced around from De Anza, Chabot and West Valley colleges after high school and ended up taking way too many classes,” said the 34-year-old Redding resident. “One of the first people I talked to at Shasta College was (Student Services Assistant) Paul Burwick, who told me about the Associate Degree for Transfer program. I knew that getting into a (California State University) would be harder because of the budget cuts, so having the guaranteed transfer was certainly nice.”
The Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) program is for community college students who complete an associate degree designated for transfer and are guaranteed admission to the CSU system with junior status. ADT students are also given priority consideration when applying to a California State University campus, and to a particular program that is designated as similar to the student’s community college major.
In order for Fitzgerald to finish his educational pathway quickly he said he took 18 units in the fall of 2012 and 16 units this past spring. He earned a 4.0 grade point average, he said, owing it to his focus and resolve.
“I wanted to get it done in one year and I did,” he said. “I’ll be more of an organizational studies major at Chico State, with a minor in international business. One nice thing about the ADT program is that I already got my 60 units at Chico State pretty much mapped out.”
Fitzgerald said he’ll likely get a Master of Business Administration degree and then search for a career working for a multi-national corporation. His sales background will complement his MBA, he said. He’ll be building contacts around the world in the spring of 2014 when he joins the Semester at Sea program and circumnavigates the globe. He’ll visit 12 countries in 16 stops over 112 days.
“I have my pathway now,” Fitzgerald said. “I’d tell any first-year incoming freshman at a community college to get into the (associate degree for transfer) program right away because it’s so much easier than going in circles like I did. They’ll show you how to get from Point A to Point B. I was very happy with the program.”