‘Strengthen the transfer pipeline’: UC to guarantee admission to qualifying California community college students

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California community college students are now guaranteed admission to a UC campus as transfer students — that is, if they meet a certain, yet-to-be-determined standard.

The University of California and California Community Colleges, or UC and CCC, respectively, announced an agreement Wednesday guaranteeing admission to qualifying community college students to a UC campus. The agreement does not, however, guarantee that applicants will be able to transfer to their first-choice UC campus, nor does it specify the qualifying requirements.

Six individual UC campuses — Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz — already have individual transfer admissions guarantee, or TAG, programs.

“The proposal being considered by UC would augment those guarantees by also providing a systemwide guarantee,” said UCOP spokesperson Stephanie Beechem in an email. “Meaning that qualifying students would receive a guarantee of admission to the UC system and not just a specific campus, as is currently done through TAG programs.”

These efforts will continue to “streamline the transfer process for students and strengthen the transfer pipeline,” according to the current memorandum of understanding, or MOU, between the UC and CCC, and lead more academically prepared transfer students to UC campuses.

“Further collaborating and coordinating with the California Community Colleges will not only make it easier for qualified students to transfer to the university, it will help ensure that they excel once they arrive,” UC President Janet Napolitano said in a press release. “We hope to see the tangible, positive effects of these efforts by fall of next year.”

Academically, these programs will involve partnerships between UC and CCC that include UC campus summer experience programs for prospective students, summer bridge programs for newly admitted CCC transfers, greater access to academic advising and enhanced online transfer resources.

The agreement recognizes that more resources will also be necessary to ensure transfer student support, but the UC and CCC are still unclear about what these support systems will be.

“Because the specific details of this proposal are still being examined and weighed by both UC and CCC, what additional resources will be needed is yet to be determined,” Beechem said in an email.

Efforts to increase transfer student enrollment in the UC date back to 1996, when the UC and CCC signed a different MOU. CCC enrollment in UC campuses increased by 20 percent between fall 2013 and fall 2017, reaching an all-time high of 20,000 students.

“The challenge today, however, is more formidable than before,” read the MOU between the UC and CCC. “The changing face of the California populace requires a renewed commitment to higher education in ways that advantage students who wish to begin their educational journey at a community college.”

Contact Madeleine Gregory at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @mgregory_dc.