For the first time in its history, Santa Monica College has surpassed 1,000 in the number of transfer students in one year to the prestigious University of California system.

SMC transferred a total of 1,053 students to UC this year, an increase of 14.6 percent from 919 sent in 2008-09. This is the 20th consecutive year that SMC has been the number-one transfer institution to the UC campuses, having retained that distinction by a wide margin, SMC officials said.

Although the UC system increased its transfers for 2009-10 by 4 percent, SMC increased its transfer number by close to 15 percent. The second-ranked institution, De Anza College in Northern California, tallied 666 transfers.

“Santa Monica College shows year after year its commitment to transfer but is always striving to get even more students into four-year universities,” SMC President Dr. Chui L. Tsang said.

Among other 2009-10 transfer statistics for SMC are:

€ SMC was number one in transfers to the UC and California State University systems combined, with 1,833;

€ SMC maintained its hold on first place in transfers to USC, from 173 students in fall 2009 to 195 in fall 2010; and

€ SMC transferred the most students to Loyola Marymount University in fall 2010 at 35, and sent 11 students to the Ivy League’s Columbia University in New York.

However, with Cal State campuses drastically reducing their admissions for 2009-10, SMC experienced a decline in transfers to that system, from 1,011 in 2008-09 to 780, college officials said. Despite the decline, SMC’s rank in transfers to Cal State campuses rose from 10th place in 2008-09 to seventh place in 2009-10.

Transfer Center Faculty Leader Dan Nannini attributed SMC’s strong transfer record to issues such as keeping its transfer reputation in the spotlight, recruiting good students, giving strong academic counseling to students, and quality professors.

UCLA continues to be by far the most popular destination for SMC students, with nearly half of the UC transfers – 519 – going to the Westwood campus. San Diego, Berkeley and Irvine, were the next most popular UC destinations, respectively, in 2009-10.