College fair presents transfer options

Dozens of colleges from around the country filled the campus quad Oct. 11, as Santa Monica College held its semi-annual College Fair. The event provides an opportunity for recruiters to share what their colleges have to offer potential transfer students.

Given the current economic climate, changes in college applications are likely.

Although some colleges are affected more than others, college fairs are a good way to recruit students from California’s top ranking community college in transfers.

The College of Engineering & Computer Science, California State University Northridge, San Marcos, Sacramento, Columbia College Hollywood, St. Mary’s College, and Syracuse University were just some of the colleges experiencing heavy traffic at their stands.

Even out-of-state colleges such as The New School in New York City, American University in Washington D.C., the University of Phoenix, and the University of Medical and Health Science, St. Kitts, had representatives present at the fair.

The New School’s self-designed bachelor’s program in Liberal Arts complements SMC’s programs.

The university sees a handsome amount of interest from SMC students according to Matt Morgan, an admissions counselor at the college.

“While the transfer market is constantly in flux, The New School Bachelor’s Program has steadily been enrolling transfer students over the past few years. With the job market’s noticeably smaller amount of offerings, individuals are using this as a time to return to school, and earn higher credentials to increase professional opportunities,” said Morgan.

Santa Monica College is well-known for being the highest ranking community college in California for students transferring to USC, among other colleges, which explains why many colleges attend the SMC College Fair.

Josef Preciado, a representative from Cal State Sacramento, said that SMC has a “high transfer rate, the students are well-prepared, and it’s simply a valuable place to be for a recruiter.”

Many talented SMC transfer students acquire desired work opportunities immediately following graduation.

Bruce Postman, a professor at Columbia College Hollywood, a nonprofit film school, hired former SMC student Saman Aledavoud as a cameraman. “SMC has superb film teachers,” said Postman.

Columbia College Hollywood hasn’t seen a decline in transfer rates either, mostly due to the economy. According to Postman, the school’s student body still consists of about 50 percent transfer students, as it did before the economic downturn.

“We’ve been holding steady. There has been no significant change,” said Postman.

Not only recruiters enjoyed the fair, but students did as well. Keisha Thompson, an SMC business major, expressed her appreciation for the fair. “I had no idea what school I wanted to transfer to, but things are much clearer now,” said Thompson. “I didn’t even know I had to apply a year ahead. I’m really stressing now.”