Sometimes teaching others is the best way to learn. Jibin Johns learned this firsthand while pursuing his general studies degree at College of the Mainland. While not quite sure where his studies would ultimately lead him, Johns knew that he eventually wanted to transfer to a four-year institution to earn a bachelor’s degree. And he soon discovered that COM’s vast network of pipelines and resources were an important asset on his journey to reach his academic goals at COM and beyond.
“College of the Mainland was the right choice for me because I got all the care I needed along with all the good training and education.”Jibin Johns
Upon arriving at COM, Johns joined TRIO Student Support Services, which provides resources that help underrepresented students reach graduation. For Johns, the group was instrumental in stepping in as a much-needed support system while he learned to readjust to college life when his family moved back to India. While in TRIO, Johns connected with advisors and other students who helped him navigate through his college experience. “The TRIO advisors helped me to move forward without any struggle, and they were very supportive,” Johns said.
Now, Johns’ role has transitioned from student to teacher where he currently works in the TRIO program as a math tutor. He says he enjoys it because “while not everyone is good at math, I can help them with study skills and creating better habits.”
In 2019, Johns transferred to University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL) to pursue a degree in Computer Information Systems. While the transition to a four-year institution can be challenging for some, Johns credits his experience at COM for helping him transfer seamlessly to university life. “My time at COM helped me to develop the skills necessary for UHCL, so the transition didn’t feel very difficult.”
Although the prospect of transferring from a community college to a university can seem overwhelming, it’s a popular choice for many students. According to the Texas Public Higher Education Almanac, more than 70 percent of all Texas bachelor’s degree graduates take at least one college course at a two-year college.
To facilitate the ease of transfer for students wanting to pursue a bachelor’s degree, COM offers a robust network of academic partnerships to build seamless academic pipelines for Johns and other students like him looking to further their educational pursuits at a four-year institution. But perhaps the most import asset to the transfer student experience is that all core course transfer in Texas.
Johns advises students who are interested in transferring to discuss their options with their advisor and reminds students that the process is simple. “I was able to take all of my prerequisites for my four-year degree at College of the Mainland which helped me to transition to the higher-level classes at my university,” Johns explains. “COM really helped me feel prepared for my classes.”
Upon graduating from UHCL in December 2021, Johns plans to pursue a master’s degree and take a support position helping others with computers. And while he is excited about starting this new chapter in his life, he is grateful to College of the Mainland for getting him there.