University of California President Janet Napolitano signed a joint agreement with California Community College Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley to put forth a “comprehensive effort” to guarantee admission for qualified transfer students to all nine UC campuses.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed on April 11, will increase the number of Californians who pursue higher education, Oakley said in a press release.
Napolitano said this collaboration with the community college system will allow for a “streamlined” transfer process for qualified students as well as prepare them for transitioning to the UC System.
According to Napolitano, the UC system hopes to implement these changes and see the “tangible, positive” effects by Fall 2019.
The agreement would guarantee a place in the UC system for transfer students who complete one of the UC pathways and earn the necessary grade point average (GPA). The UC transfer pathway is a roadmap that outlines courses that community college students should take to establish themselves as competitive candidates for transferring.
Transfer Admission Guarantees (T.A.G.s) that already exist between students and each university will still be in place, according to the memorandum.
UCSB already has a “campus-specific guarantee” in place to accommodate community college transfer students, but will “continue to work closely with transfer students to explain their options for enrolling into our guaranteed program,” said UCSB Director of Admissions Lisa Przekop.
The MOU states the UC Academic Senate — in conjunction with the California Community Colleges Senate — agreed to accept students who earn an associate degree at a community college where their degree “meets or exceeds the major requirements in a UC transfer pathway for the same major.”
Julie Bruno, president of the Academic Senate for CCC, emphasized the importance of students earning their associate’s degree in addition to successfully transferring to a UC.
The MOU sets forth several partnerships and programs to help community college students —particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds — meet the academic standards necessary for UC admission.
Partnerships to enhance transfer students’ preparation for enrollment in the UC system include a UC campus summer program for prospective transfers and summer bridge programs for admitted students.
The agreement highlights the importance of prioritizing transfer students and argues that this is a responsibility shared among all institutions of higher education.
One of the actions outlined in the MOU calls for increased training for faculty to help them better serve transfer students and understand their specific needs.
The most recent MOU builds upon previous MOUs, particularly one from 1996 that led to an increase in enrollment of CCC students by over 50 percent. In the last four admission cycles alone, the UC increased its transfer enrollment by 20 percent, reaching an all-time high of 20,000 transfer students in Fall 2017, according to the MOU.
The agreement says the UC Academic Senate will be responsible for reporting annual data regarding the admissions guarantees to the UC Board of Regents in order to better ensure accountability. This data will also be used to amend the MOU to better meet its objectives.
The agreement is set to be initiated immediately with the expectation that all relevant efforts will be carried out by the end of the academic year 2021-22, according to the MOU.