Spokane Falls Community College alum Nicolas Burrows initially chose to begin his higher education journey at a community college because it was the most cost-effective option. It was the practical choice – close to home and a popular destination for his fellow high school graduates.
Once he began, however, the value Nicolas found at SFCC broke many negative stereotypes he had previously heard about community college education and exceeded all his expectations.
“What I liked most about attending SFCC was the instructors,” Nicolas said. “They were incredibly helpful and really cared about my success. The teachers spend a lot of time making sure their students make it to where they want to go.”
Now a student at the University of Idaho, Nicolas continues his studies and majors in mechanical engineering. His passion for science and engineering opens many doors for his future career and working in aerospace holds a particular appeal.
Nicolas’ interest in space started with a childhood love for pop culture landmarks such as Star Wars and Star Trek and expanded to encompass a genuine curiosity for the science behind the scenes. Nicolas aims to enter the field of aerospace engineering after graduation.
“As cliché as it might sound, it’s the final frontier,” he said. “I think space is uniquely interesting and beautiful. It would be amazing to explore that with my career.”
After transferring, Nicolas’ decision to study engineering gave him far more than just academic achievements.
“One of the biggest things I’ve found at college is that the major you choose really becomes your family,” he said. “Even though I made the move from Spokane to Moscow, there have been a lot of people in my classes that I’ve connected with because we all share a passion for engineering. That’s the best way I’ve discovered to build incredible relationships.”
The transfer process can be daunting, but Nicolas has also found it rewarding. He urges community college graduates to do their research early in the transfer process and learn about the different options available.
Having a clear direction to head towards at the start gives transfer students an impactful leg up to finish their degree at a four-year institution. The University of Idaho offers a variety of helpful resources specifically for its transfer community, including transfer specialists and I-Transfer, an online self-service transfer tool.
“My favorite thing about being a part of the University of Idaho is the close-knit community,” Nicolas said. “I didn’t want to feel like just a number at a larger school. Here it feels like you are more of a family member.”