Get started on the next step: Look at the University Transfer Fair

The College celebrated its official name change to “Bellevue College” last week. The new name was adopted just in time to award diplomas with the new name to the first graduating class of BC’s only baccalaureate degree program.

The majority of students, however, continue to use BC as a stepping stone to other colleges or universities.

In accordance with this, the college hosts an event four times per year that gathers representatives from numerous colleges and universities along the West Coast.

The event held its first of four functions for the new year in the cafeteria amidst the loud hum of rushed students talking, eating, and studying.

Lining the walls and tables of the cafeteria, more than twenty colleges had their stands set up, encouraging students to get involved in the next step of education. Each stand included representatives charmingly poised, ready to answer questions and to talk about their unique colleges. The schools in attendance included Seattle University, UW, The Art Institute of Seattle, WSU, CWU, EWU, and many more,

Gwen Jackson, a representative from Seattle University, explained that by sending representatives to the fair, “we’re able to answer questions about tuition fees [and]what our application requirements are on different majors.”

Jackson added, “We talk about deadlines, [we] talk about what the application needs to be, and what it needs to have in order to be competitive with the many other students applying for Seattle University.”

Jackson elaborated on how students can also visit the campus.“Students can sign up online to visit a classroom, […] to meet with faculty members, professors.”

With tours available for all students, Jackson added that, “many students end up signing up for tours because they were not aware that such services existed. […] This allows students to experience and take in the dynamic culture and life of the campus and the people in it as well.”

Like Jackson, the wide breadth of the fair’s colleges and its representatives enable students to have their questions heard and answered in person, by an informed advisor who has experiencce working with new transfer students from community colleges.

“The transfer fair is an opportunity for students to meet with the admissions counselors from each of the universities,” said Arlene Hruby, program coordinator at the college’s Education Planning Advising Center, and the organizer of the event, “And [to] get general transfer information about policies for applying, application materials, and a person to contact if they have future questions.”

The fair is just the beginning. This event is only the first step in getting involved in the application process and discovering the university that best fits the students needs.

“I would imagine that students probably decide on a school to apply to based on [if] they can meet the requirements, “ said Hruby. “But also by asking themselves whether or not the campus is really a good fit for them.”

Natalie Mackmight, a student at BC, said she is interested in Seattle Pacific University.

“I think that it’s nice that representatives from each college come to the campus.” Macknight said. “It makes it a lot more personal for people who have questions or have possible concerns regarding eligibility or requirements of the school.”

According to Mackmight, the materials provided at each desk contained information that can help students initiate contacts with the school and find out how they can “beef up” their academic resume.

Whether a student plans on transferring from Bellevue College in the near future or possibly several years from now, the bi-annual University Transfer Fair is a very useful tool for students trying to find out more about the schools and what they need to do, in order to get prepared and accepted.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the transfer fair occurs twice per year. The college hosts a transfer fair every quarter, or four times per year.