A sea of pop-up canopies and tables covered the Student Services Center quad on Sept. 19, welcoming many local and out-of-state colleges to Saddleback College’s transfer fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Representatives from the colleges came to talk to students about transfer procedures and provide information about their college’s specific requirements.
In addition to the familiar faces, a few new colleges attended the fair including: American Jewish University, Oregon Tech, Pacific University Oregon, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, School of the Art Institute Chicago, University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas at Austin.
Kyle O’Connell, assistant director of the West Coast territory from the School of the Art Institute Chicago said this is his college’s first year attending, because he was newly assigned to cover the local area and wanted to reach out to Saddleback students.
“When they had asked me to come out, I thought that this would be a good chance to have a stronger relationship with more of the community colleges in the southern California area,”O’Connell said. “We want a greater diversity of transfer students, international students and from various regions of the country, that will make our school intellectually and artistically more rigorous coming from different perspectives.”
He said what’s unique about the school is that it is run with an interdisciplinary curriculum at the undergraduate level, where a student can study in any of the studio areas and mix and match their studies in those areas.
“You’re the one that has the freedom to design your own curriculum,” O’Connell said. “I think in the realm of higher education and in the realm of art schools, that’s a very distinguishing quality.”
Dounya Mouzoon, a 22-year-old three-dimensional art/ metal smithing major, said she was disappointed to hear that not very many colleges offered her major.
“I wanted to find out if any of the schools offered jewelry programs. I know Long Beach has one, but no other schools seem to offer that,” Mouzoon said. “Not even the art institute had it, so that was disappointing.”
A popular transfer school for Saddleback students is California State University, Fullerton, where their business and communications programs are some of the largest in the country. Their college of business and economics is the largest in the state, according to Barbara K. Schiller-Harvey, a representative from CSUF.
“The advice that we’re giving is for students to be the very best prepared, not just to do minimal requirements, go beyond just having minimal preparation and complete all the GE requirements,” Schiller-Harvey said. “You want to have the highest GPA that you can, because that will help you later in life anyway.”
The average GPA accepted for the fall 2013 semester at CSUF for in-area Orange County community college students was 2.5 and out-of-area was 3.3.
Dylan Brooks, a 20-year-old political economy major, said this was his third transfer fair he’s attended, but he always discovers new information.
“Usually I come even though I already know the answers to my questions,” Brooks said. “Sometimes I’m surprised by things I didn’t know despite all the research I’ve done for my top schools.”
Brooks said he noticed that Saddleback is reaching out to more and more colleges, especially ones on the East Coast.
“I was just over at the University of Pennsylvania booth and I was ecstatic to see them, because typically Saddleback doesn’t have access to ivy-league schools,” Brooks said.
Kathleen San Pedro, an 18-year-old nutrition major, said she visited the transfer fair initially to get extra credit for her sociology and applied sciences class, but she also wanted to find out more about the colleges available. She is interested in attending either California State University, Fullerton or CSU Long Beach.
“I’m deciding on where to transfer and I just wanted to know more about different colleges,” San Pedro said. “I want to major in either nutrition, dietician or kinesiology.”
The next transfer fair will also be held in the SSC quad on Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 1p.m.