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University of California faces calls to reduce barriers for transfer students

University of California faces calls to reduce barriers for transfer students


Michael Burke
August 8, 2022
To fix what critics say is a confusing and discouraging system, the University of California is under pressure to create a new admissions guarantee program for community college transfer students.
Currently, six of UC’s nine undergraduate campuses have transfer admission guarantee programs, which smooth the path from a community college to UC if students take the right courses. But each campus has different course and grade requirements for those programs, and the guarantees are limited to certain majors. Three of UC’s most competitive campuses — Berkeley, Los Angeles and San Diego — don’t have any guaranteed admission programs at all.
The Campaign for College Opportunity, a college access group that has often sponsored major legislation related to transfers, says it’s time for a more streamlined and student-friendly process that would guarantee transfer students a spot in the UC system if they meet certain criteria.
It’s especially important, proponents say, because only a small fraction of students who intend to transfer are successful. And with enrollment down significantly at the community colleges in recent years, creating simpler paths to a four-year university could help keep students on track toward their degrees.
A key lawmaker, Assemblymember Marc Berman, also told EdSource that a systemwide admissions guarantee for transfer students should be strongly considered.
The calls also come as a new formal statewide committee, the Associate Degree for Transfer Intersegmental Implementation Committee, is expected to soon convene for its first meeting. Established by Assembly Bill 928, a bill signed last year by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the committee’s charge includes making recommendations by the end of next year to the Legislature for improving the transfer process.
“I don’t want to get ahead of the work of this important committee, but I do think the committee should have a serious conversation about establishing a UC systemwide guarantee, and I look forward to following that discussion,” said Berman, who is also chair of the state Assembly’s Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California.
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