(CN) – California community college students will be guaranteed admission to the University of California if they meet requirements under a new agreement announced Wednesday by the university and the California Community Colleges.
Students who begin community college in fall 2019 and do well in courses developed with the help of UC faculty will gain admission to a UC campus under the agreement. The required grade-point average for admission has yet to be determined.
“Increasing the number and diversity of students attending a CCC who prepare for and transfer to a UC campus is a strategic priority for the state and the university,” University of California President Janet Napolitano and California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley said in the agreement.
“For a transfer-affirming culture to flourish, the response of both segments must be a strategic, long-term initiative that will achieve what has always been the goal of California’s investment in public higher education: a high-quality, low-cost, post-secondary system that provides access that is inclusive of all Californians who wish to pursue a four-year degree,” the agreement states.
Under the agreement, which will last until the end of the 2021-2022 academic year, the University of California will enroll at least one transfer student for every two first-year students.
The admissions guarantee will use the 21 UC Transfer Pathways as its basis. The Transfer Pathways, developed in 2015, established a set of community college courses – or a pathway – for the 21 most popular majors at the University of California. A student who completes the courses with a certain GPA is deemed to have met the requirements for that major at any UC campus.
Qualifying students will also continue to be guaranteed admission under the California Community College Associate Degree for Transfer program if the program meets the major preparation required by a UC Transfer Pathway, and under the Transfer Admission Guarantee program, under which UC guarantees admission to six of its nine campuses to all qualifying California transfer students.
The Transfer Admission Guarantee program makes up one-third of the university’s entering transfer class, according to the agreement.
“Once executed, this agreement will further the goals envisioned in the California Master Plan for Higher Education,” which established transfer as a priority for California’s colleges and universities, Napolitano and Oakley said in the agreement.
Wednesday’s agreement isn’t the first effort between the University of California and the California Community Colleges to increase transfer student enrollment. Under a 1996 agreement, the university increased transfer enrollment over the ensuing seven years by more than 50 percent, according to the two institutions. The number of transfer students from underrepresented groups exceeded that of freshman applicants for the first time in the university’s history.
Between 2013 and 2017, the university increased transfer enrollment by 20 percent, admitting an all-time high of 20,000 transfer students in fall 2017, Napolitano and Oakley said.
“The challenge today, however, is more formidable than before – and requires collective solutions and support,” they said in the agreement. “Increasing transfer rates have never been more important to the state’s economy. 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.”
Representatives for Napolitano and Oakley could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.