California community college students will be guaranteed admission to the Universities of California beginning in fall of 2019 if they meet certain course requirements, the University of California Office of the President announced on Wednesday. The memorandum of understanding titled “Enhance Student Transfer” between the two public education systems states that in order to receive guaranteed admission, transfer students must complete one of 21 different transfer pathways, each of which contain a set of courses based on the pathway’s corresponding major, and maintain a minimum GPA.
This new program was modeled after the Associate Degree for Transfer, established by state legislation in 2010 that connected the California Community Colleges system with the California State University system, and will similarly result in community college students receiving an ADT to transfer to the UC system. While transfer students may not be accepted to their preferred UC campuses, students meeting the requirements outlined in the memorandum will be offered admission to at least one of the nine undergraduate schools.
According to the memorandum, this new agreement is intended to improve both the accessibility of the UC system to transfer students and their ability to graduate on time.
“First, it provides a clear pathway for [California community college] students who wish to transfer to [the UC system], guaranteeing these students an opportunity to obtain a baccalaureate degree if they meet clearly articulated requirements,” it reads. “Second, it aims to ensure that once [in the UC system], these students have taken courses and met the requirements deemed by the University’s faculty to best prepare them to succeed and earn their four-year degree.”
Although UC San Diego does not, six other UC campuses already offer Transfer Admissions Guarantees which allow students to negotiate agreements of guaranteed admissions with their campus specifically. These TAGs will not be affected by the memorandum.
California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley claims that community college transfers are just as capable of succeeding at UC campuses as students who begin as freshmen, so the memorandum will allow more California residents to receive undergraduate degrees.
“Community college students who transfer to the UC campuses do as well, or sometimes better academically, as students who start their studies at a UC [school],” Oakley said. “This agreement, when fully implemented, will help more Californians from all backgrounds realize the promise of higher education and move our state forward.”
Thurgood Marshall College third-year transfer student Keaton McKoy voiced his support for the memorandum based on the current conditions.
“Community college students have a different level of focus and maturity, so they should be awarded opportunities such as that,” McKoy told the UCSD Guardian.
According to the UCSD Institutional Research statistics on transfer students, 53 percent of the 18,510 applicants in 2016 were admitted to UCSD, and of the 2,884 who actually chose to attend, 91 percent came from California community colleges.
The agreement will culminate at the end of the 2021-22 academic year.