The Importance of Research: John Popik Talks About Deciding on a Transfer School

Nicole Littlefield, Features Editor

COD Counselor John Popik likes to have students visualize a funnel when researching transfer schools. Popik explains when students start to research, the information is broad, using factors like location, finances and school size will “funnel”, or narrow, the search down to a manageable amount of data. 

“Then once you narrow it down,” Popik said, “start going to individual university webpages, talk to admission reps. Those types of things narrow it down even further. Once you have your top three, visit those schools and go to informational sessions. Apply to your top choices. See, like a funnel.”

Popik recommends starting with a good database for broad research like the Illinois Career Information System (CIS). The COD library provides students with the CIS database, which provides a lot of helpful information to students like: transfer school research, various filters colleges, interest inventories, and research for potential occupations. COD students can access CIS under the database tab on the library website or

 Visiting potential transfer colleges was also emphasized by Popik. 

“Think about it, how much time and money you are investing. It might be worth an hour or a half-day trip to go see that school to make sure you really like it and you don’t get any surprises later.”

Ready Set Transfer is an event, hosted by Popik, where he provides transfer information to students. This month is March into Transfer, and the counselors hosted different transfer themed events. Each event was tailored to help students through some of the difficult steps of transferring. The counseling and advising department tries to host transfer events once a semester to ensure that every student has the resources to learn how to transfer. If a student is not available during the times of an event, the same information can be provided during a one-on-one appointment. The events provide students with information in a group setting in a specific place and time that gears the information on a broader scale. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the counseling, advising and transfer services are continuing to provide students with aid for educational planning or career counseling. All physical events have been canceled; however, the counselors and advisors are available online and over the phone through April 19.  

Since all COD classes have moved to an online format until April 19, students can use their time normally spent commuting, for research on transfer schools and the online resources provided by the counseling, advising, and transfer services. 

For information on how to schedule an appointment visit the counseling, advising and transfer services webpage at or call (630) 942-2259.