Approximately 500 Hancock College students descended on the Student Center on Tuesday for Transfer Day -- an event designed to give students and community members a leg up in the transfer application process.

The annual event featured on-site representatives from approximately 40 four-year colleges and universities.

"We want students to have access to multiple universities in one place," said Ashley Brackett, transfer coordinator at Hancock. 

Roughly 500 students per year transfer to a four-year college or university, she said. Working at the University Transfer Center, Brackett's job is to provide students with everything they need to know to succeed and gain admission to a four-year university. In addition to the annual Transfer Day, the college provides students with everything from counseling and workshops to trips to various state universities.

"It's prime time between now and Nov. 30," Brackett said. "We host workshops every week to take students through the application process and check over their applications to ensure there are no errors."

In order to get a ahead in the transfer process, first-year psychology student Adrian Martinez said he attended Tuesday's event despite not applying to transfer until 2018.

"I want to see the different options I have and which schools offer my major and fit my interests," he said. "I want to know which schools offer the best program I can find for myself."

While Martinez said he's currently deciding between UCSB  and California State University, Stanislaus, Hancock has prepared him for transfer success.

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"I feel like Hancock is holding my hand through the process, but I know that at some point, they're just going to let go," he said. "They've taught me to better my time management and prepare me to transfer out."

As the event went on, a small group of students gathered around Jesse Farias, a recruitment counselor for California State University, Fresno. Armed with promotional swag and admissions material, Farias spoke to students about the university's transfer requirements and process. 

"We're just out here to provide students with information about what it takes to apply to Fresno State from high school or gain admission as a transfer student," he said.

As of the 2017 admission cycle, Hancock is considered part of Fresno State's local transfer admissions area. According to Farias, students who have a majority of their transfer units from Hancock are considered local and will receive priority review for admission.

"It all comes down to their majors, but we will look at their applications first," he explained. "If they meet local transfer eligibility requirements, they stand a really good chance of getting into the program."

Mathew Burciaga covers education in Santa Maria and the surrounding area for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @math_burciaga

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Education Reporter

Santa Maria Times reporter Mathew Burciaga covers education for Lee Central Coast Newspapers.