NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

NECC Haverhill Transfer Day

Northern Essex hosted its annual transfer fair on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Rosalie Catalano, transfer and academic advisor at NECC, says that the event was held in hopes of drawing in a crowd of at least 100 students for the 58 colleges in attendance. This year they exceeded 100 attendees and it drew a crowd twice the size of last year’s.   NECC holds the fair to bring representatives from four-year schools all over New England to campus to answer students’ questions and concerns.  Justin Anderson, academic advisor for University of Massachusetts Boston in Allston, Mass., said he fielded questions about online courses, tuition and housing.  Alexandra Parker, assistant admissions director at Emerson College in Boston, said that most students came to her table seeking information on programs. She said she picked and champions Emerson because of the “opportunities” on and off campus and the scholarships they offer.  Emily Buckow, academic advisor from Curry College in Milton, Mass., said that students who came over to her table asking about the programs they offer. There are 21 total programs to choose from at Curry. They handle anywhere from 350 to 400 transfers every year.

“It’s great to have a conversation with the students,” said Buckow of her fondness of college fairs. Buckow noted that she could not speak for the other representatives, but said that she is a “direct connection” for students in the transfer process.

Kristopher Schooner, second-year Theater major, is looking at “so many places.” Among his picks are New York University-Tisch, Boston Conservatory, University of New Hampshire, Plymouth and Emerson.

“It is definitely difficult,” said Schooner about transferring as a Performing Arts major. Schooner explained that not all conservatories accept all transfer credits. He never thought he would have started out at a community college but after being declined from 14 colleges out of high school, his high school management teacher gave him college vouchers. Schooner spent a semester at Manchester Community College but was unhappy and unfulfilled with the lack of a performing arts program. Last January, Schooner said he had an “a-ha!” moment that led him to NECC.

“The performing arts classes here help me build on my skills,” said Schooner, who hopes to get all of his general education classes out the way before transferring. His only worry: “Is this program going to adequately prepare me for moving to New York to be a performer?”

“I feel like I’ve been redoing senior year of high school,” said Schooner, “with a college course load.”

Nina Cabral, third-year Dance major, was a little disappointed when she attended the college fair.

“None of the schools have dance programs,” said Cabral, who spoke to representatives at UNH, Dean College and Salem State but wasn’t floored by any of their propositions. Her eye is set on University of North Carolina School of Arts. She said she’s auditioned there before and gotten in twice. When she goes out on her auditions, she makes sure to check all the boxes including “school opportunities” because she doesn’t want to miss out on anything.

Cabral said, “I have to stop limiting myself to my zipcode,” and decided she will be applying to Juilliard and Boston Conservatory along with UNCSA.  Cabral, who was homeschooled until college, has never applied to a four-year school before. She worries about her credits transferring and having to be in school for too much longer.

“I’m doing something, but I’m wearing a blindfold,” she said of the application process and the accompanying uncertainty.

Rami Saleh, second-year computer engineering major, is a student taking advantage of MassTransfer to UMass Lowell.  Saleh moved to America in November of 2013 from Lebanon. After transferring his life from one country to another, Saleh thinks transferring schools should be “so easy.”

“I went to one school in Lebanon,” said Saleh who was new to the concept of different grade level schools when he moved to America. He chose UMass Lowell for its convenience. For all other students, like Schooner and Cabral, concerned with transfers, Catalano said, “We are constantly tweaking to make sure that things transfer.”