The cafeteria of Bellevue College filled with promotion tables on May 25 as BC held the spring quarter transfer fair. Representatives from both out of state and local universities were available to BC students to give them information on the transfer process as well as information about their individual universities. “I think this is just really important because the students get to meet different universities, different reps,” said Cesar Rangel, a BC academic adviser who helped plan the event, adding that these fairs help “demystify the university and college experience.”
Many of the universities in attendance learned of this event based off a sign-up sheet and word of mouth, according to Rangel. “We have an organization that sends [a sheet] out to everybody and they sign up and they decide if they want to come or not,” he said. Academic Advising also reaches out to university representatives individually. “We’re trying to meet with university reps so that we do some projects on campus and off campus so students can know more about them,” said Rangel.
Information about the transfer process can also make a student’s transition into a four-year college less stressful according to Katherine Wildman, representative from Black Hills State University in South Dakota. “I think, from the research we know that it can be difficult for students coming in from a two-year institution and transferring in to a four-year institution,” she said. “What we’re trying to do is provide a seamless transition for students to be able to move into a four-year degree if they would like to be able to do that.”
As well as learning about the transfer process in certain universities, students could learn about the different kinds of programs and locations certain universities have. The University of Phoenix, for example, has many satellite campuses including one in Toquilla, Washington with their main base in Phoenix, Arizona. There, they focus mostly on business courses. “We cater to a lot of the working adults,” said Julienne Jimenez, representative from the University of Phoenix.
Representatives from both the University of Washington Seattle and Bothell campuses also attended the fair. Rangel cited data from the 2014-2015 school year, stating that most Bellevue College students transfer to the University of Washington over other schools. Matt Bishop, assistant director of admissions at the UW, stated that “we have essentially a mandated priority to reserve about 80 percent of our spaces for community college students from Washington state community colleges,” going on to say that UW’s priority is Washington state transfer students.
“Meeting them where they’re at is very important,” he said.
Bellevue College’s bachelor degrees were also being promoted at some of the tables in the room. Interior design program Director Cheryl Ford stated that this is to inform students about what they can do if they end up not transferring but want a four-year degree. “It’s encouraging students who are going through and getting a basic AA to then maybe stay right here and do one of the bachelor’s degrees,” she said, continuing on to say that all the bachelor’s degrees from BC are designed to put people to work.
The next transfer fair will be during fall quarter, but it will be different from this quarter’s, according to Rangel. “My idea for fall is not to have a transfer week, just a transfer fair and after transfer fair we have a transfer program,” he said. Rangel then said that students will be able to talk more privately with representatives, ask them questions, show them resumes and more. “The intention is to have university reps look over students’application to the universities,” he said.