For the 19th consecutive year, Santa Monica College sent more students to the University of California system than any other transfer institution, college officials said Monday.

The community college was also the leader in transfers to the UC-Cal State systems combined, as well as the number one transfer school for African Americans to the UC system.

And that’s not all. SMC also had more students transfer to USC than any other transfer college, sending 173 students to the renowned private university.

SMC sent 919 students to UC campuses in 2008-09, far outdistancing the number two and three feeders, with 675, and 634, respectively.

Combined UC-CSU transfers totaled 1,930, keeping SMC in the top spot, ahead of the next biggest feeder that sent 1,858 total.

“In these difficult times, it’s great to see the transfer option is viable and supported by SMC’s class offerings and student support services,” said Dan Nannini, SMC Transfer Center coordinator.

In addition:

• SMC transferred 32 African American students to UC.

• SMC transferred one student in fall 2009 to CalTech, which accepts only about six community college students a year. In addition, the college sends about 15 students each year to Columbia University in New York.

UCLA continues to be the most popular destination for SMC students, with more than half of the UC transfers — 516 — going to the Westwood campus. San Diego, Berkeley and Irvine, in that order, were the next most popular destinations in 2008-09, college officials said.

Nannini attributed SMC’s strong transfer record to a wide range of factors: keeping SMC’s transfer reputation in the spotlight, recruiting good students, giving strong academic counseling to students that helps make them attractive to admissions offices, and outstanding professors.

In addition, Nannini pointed out that the college’s Transfer Center hosts one of the largest college fairs in the state. This fall, representatives from 110 colleges and universities throughout the nation came to the SMC Transfer Fair to recruit students.

SMC’s Transfer Center also conducts workshops, holds weekly visits from four-year institutions, and has a close working relationship with UC and CSU to make sure SMC students get credit for their classes.

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