College Fair for Art Majors

On Tuesday, May 5, the Art Patio at Santa Monica College was the place to be and the home to opportunities galore for Art Majors. The outdoor area was littered with booths where students could learn about art schools as far away as Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia. Recruiters from these schools were answering student questions and providing helpful info to aid them in their quest for higher education. Banners showing the names of well known institutions in theatre, art, music, and film were ever present. Schools like Otis, The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and USC who boasted their Roski School of Fine Arts, Flora L Thorton School of music, and School of Theatre, were actively looking for promising prospective students.

The obvious goal (business wise) for any recruiter is to enroll students and make the school they represent some money in the form of your tuition check, but Tim Ford of the University of Arts Philadelphia pointed out another part of their mission which was "to educate students on the opportunities that are out there, giving them options beyond what's right in your backyard." He was particularly partial to this view because as he said "I represent an out of state college so it's great to provide students that information beyond California (that is) still conjoining with what their goals are."

Ford said that at an event like the College Fair for Art Majors he may only talk to 10 or 15 students a day, "some may stop by and grab materials, (there are) others who may actually want to have a conversation with you about the programs."

Other recruiters estimated that their number of students talked to are considerably higher. Holly Nelson a representative from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts New York and Los Angeles, a renowned school for acting, said that "at the last fair we were at in Santa Monica we probably talked to a good 50 students." This substantially higher number of students is most likely do to the fact that her school is locally based with one of their main campuses being in Los Angeles as Nelson said "we're the same school with two campuses."

By 11 am more that thirty students of the arts were already cruising from booth to booth looking at the next possible step in their academic careers. One of those students was Angel Reynoso, an animation major at SMC. Reynoso stated that the fair would "definitely help" in making his final decision when choosing a school. Although he is not planning on transferring until 2012 Reynoso is looking into his future with much thought and has plans to stay in the area. When asked about the schools he was looking into he spoke about local facilities saying "hopefully the art institutes." With the available representatives from Ai, Otis, California Institute of Arts, CSUDH, CSULA, CSUN, and USC, it is safe to assume that his options as well as those of other students are wide open.

SMC is a renowned school in itself, and it is no wonder as to why considering that very few two year colleges would be in a position to attract this kind of attention from higher institutions, and bring their representatives here for a college fair of this specialized form, let alone a fair that is made for the benefit of just one department.