By Lisa Martin
Students entering City College in Fall 2019 will have guaranteed admission to a University of California school if they meet certain grade and coursework requirements, thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding signed by school officials on April 11.
The agreement is the latest step in the ongoing, coordinated effort to increase the number of California Community College (CCC) students transferring into University of California (UC) schools.
The UC Transfer Admission Guarantee program is already in place for qualified City College students, but it only guarantees admission to one of six UC campuses: Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.
This new agreement builds off the UC Transfer Pathways program which outlines a set of courses that can be taken at the community college level that prepare transferring students for specific majors.
“Right now, completing the pathway courses ensures that community college students have all of the pre-major courses they need to prepare for and succeed in a specific major at UC, but it does not guarantee admission,” Sarah Beechem, media relations for the UC office of the president, explained in an email.
“Although details of the new guarantee program are not yet available, we anticipate that applicants will not be guaranteed a spot in their first choice UC campus, but will be admitted to one of the nine campuses that accept undergraduates. This follows the model of CSUs’ Associate Degrees for Transfer program,” Grace Hom, CCSF Transfer Center Director and Counselor, said via email.
This agreement will work on two levels. The University of California agrees to guarantee admissions, but California Community Colleges take on the responsibility of adequately preparing students to meet the requirements to transfer and successfully earn their four-year degree.
The UC and CCC academic senates will be working together to define those requirements before Fall 2019.
“We want CCC students to know that the UC wants them, that CCC students should consider transfer to the UC from an early stage, and that the new guarantee incentivize and will reward good academic preparation,” UC Academic Senate Chair Shane White wrote in an email.
Initiatives to support the proposal are to begin immediately. “We hope to see tangible, positive effects of these efforts by fall of next year,” said UC President Janet Napolitano in a press release.
There are no details yet on how UC and CCC officials are planning on implementing this new policy, but the memorandum calls for additional support and resources to facilitate both community colleges and the UCs for a potential influx of transfer students projected to begin as a result of this program in 2021.
For the Fall 2017 term, 28,502 California community college students applied to transfer to a UC. Of those applicants, 21,301 students were admitted to at least one school, and of those admitted, 16,277 enrolled.
Roughly 350 to 400 students transfer to a UC from City College every year.
If the guarantee of admission results in increased transfer enrollments at UC, then both UC and CCC leadership will petition the State for additional funding.
“This agreement when fully implemented will help more Californians from all backgrounds realize the promise of higher education and move our state forward,” California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley said in a press release.