Twenty-eight-year-old Sela Sanberg is one of thousands of students who transfer to CSUN from community colleges each year.
After completing two years at a community college, Sanberg, a psychology and Spanish literature major, said she always knew she wanted to attend a four-year university.
“At community college I was always advised a trade and technical program would be the best option for me,” Sanberg said. “After being in the program I realized that it wasn’t for me, I needed to be challenged.”
Less students like Sanberg transferred to CSUN this spring than a year ago.
CSUN received 5,239 transfer applications for Spring 2006, of which 3,345 students were admitted, 857 less than last year, said Mary Baxton, associate director of Admissions and Records.
“We have dropped a considerable number of transfer students,” Baxton said
Javier Hernandez, director of Student Outreach and Recruitment Services, said CSUN is not the only university to have a decline of transfer students.
“There is a decrease of transfer students across the state throughout various CSUs and UCs,” Hernandez said.
There is a theory that there has been a shift of students to trade technical schools, Baxton said.
The reasons for the low numbers of transferring students, however, are currently under review.
“We won’t know why we are getting the low numbers until we have the opportunity to do a complete analysis because this is something that is happening right now,” Hernandez said. “It is difficult to assess the reasons at this time.”
In an effort to increase the number of enrolled transfer students, the administration is taking on a more aggressive approach, Baxton said.
“We are going to enhance to and increase our efforts,” she said.
Hernandez said around 1,000 students who were accepted for the Spring 2006 semester have not enrolled.
These students are being sent a letter from admissions and a courtesy call by the Student Outreach and Recruitment office informing them the campus is still open, and they still have the opportunity to enroll, Hernandez said
CSUN administrators are also attempting to contact 1,300 students who sent in an incomplete application, he said.
“Thirteen hundred students were missing things like transcripts,” Hernandez said. “These students are also being reached.”
Flyers informing transfer students that CSUN has extended its application deadlines are currently being distributed throughout the community college campuses, he said.
Student Outreach and Recruitment scheduled CSUN Transfer Days at various community college campuses in which students will have the opportunity to meet with several CSUN departments to get information they need to transfer, Hernandez said.
He said he hopes this new approach will increase the number of transfer students.
CSUs are not the only ones experiencing low enrollment.
“Our numbers are also down at the community college level,” said Synthia Saltoun, director of the Career and Transfer Center at Los Angeles Valley College.
“We are doing more aggressive outreach in high schools,” Saltoun said.
Any form of outreach from schools is important, Sanberg said.
As the first in her family to pursue higher education, Sanberg said, she didn’t know how to go about acquiring information to enroll into college.
She said all she knew was that she had the desire to learn.
While in high school, she said no one told her that she could attend a four-year university.
Sanberg, the youngest of four, said she took it upon herself to pursue higher education and informed herself the necessary steps to transfer to CSUN.
After graduating with a 3.4 grade point average from high school, Sanberg said she now knows she could have transferred to a four-year university from high school.
Carol Morales can be reached at email@example.com.