UC Academic Senate approves two new transfer pathways for university

Sarah Brennan/Staff
The Transfer Center on Lower Sproul at UC Berkeley.

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At its meeting Thursday, the UC-wide Academic Senate approved two new transfer pathways that will simplify the transfer requirements and allow students to deviate from the standard general education requirements.

According to Academic Senate Chair Robert Anderson, the senate adopted a change in regulations to create two new transfer pathways from community colleges to the UC — one based on UC transfer curricula that are being developed on a department-by-department basis and the other based on the Associate for Transfer degrees being developed by the California Community Colleges in collaboration with the CSU.

The pathways will not be available immediately, and the UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools will work on final implementation plans at its next meetings, according to board chair Bill Jacob.

Jacob said in an email that he expects substantial numbers of students will use the pathways in 2014, although some may be able to take advantage of them in 2013.

One of the new transfer pathways takes into consideration Senate Bill 1440, which was signed into legislation in September 2010. The bill requires the establishment of transfer degrees that guarantee admission to the CSU if community college students complete them and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA.

“The two new paths to transfer reflect UC’s interest in specifying what faculty believe constitutes the best pre-transfer preparation (by major) and at the same time honor the SB 1440 degrees, although without any guarantee of admission,” Jacob said in an email.

In a statement sent to the state Senate Education Committee, state Senator Alex Padilla, D-San Fernando Valley, said the coursework necessary to transfer to the UC or CSU can vary widely.

“Students seeking to transfer are frustrated and discouraged by conflicting and duplicative requirements,” Padilla said in the statement.

While the UC will not guarantee admission to students who complete transfer degrees, the university will guarantee a review to students who complete these degrees and attain a GPA set by the campuses they apply to, according to Jacob.

“Students who complete the SB 1440 degrees will not lose any opportunities should they decide they want to apply to UC in addition to CSU,” Jacob said in the email. “Of course, they have to compete for admission with all applicants.”

Jacob said in the email that the pathway is intended to ensure that students are not limited to applying to the CSU if they complete transfer degrees. According to the SB 1440 Implementation and Oversight Committee, close to 350 transfer degrees have been completed by California community college students.

Robert Cancio, a UC Berkeley senior who transferred from East Los Angeles College, heard about the transfer degrees in 2010 but did not complete one. However, he said that friends who had not transferred yet could benefit from the new pathways.

“If there’s any help when it comes to math or English, that would definitely help out students,” Cancio said. “It’d help humanities majors as well as math, science and engineering majors because often people are good at one type of study but not the other.”

Specifics about the second pathway are still in development and will be determined by the individual academic departments across the university.

According to Jacob, departments at each campus would be able to determine whether to encourage completion of general education curriculum, a more specific set of major courses or a combination of both.

Christopher Yee is an assistant news editor.