July 20, 2023
The University of California and state lawmakers are at odds over proposed legislation intended to make it easier for community college students to transfer to one of UC’s nine undergraduate campuses.
Assembly Bill 1749 would require UC to automatically admit students who complete an “associate degree for transfer,” something the 23-campus California State University already does. Supporters of the bill say it’s needed to streamline a transfer process that is often criticized as being overly complex and difficult for students to navigate.
But UC officials maintain that the bill would disadvantage students in certain majors, who UC says would enter the university underprepared for their coursework. That’s because the ADT programs don’t always require courses in certain majors that UC expects students to complete by the time they enter their junior year. For example, UC biology majors are expected as juniors to have taken two courses in organic chemistry, something that isn’t required by the ADT, according to Han Mi Yoon-Wu, UC’s executive director for undergraduate admissions.
“Our primary concern is that the associate degree for transfers, which were developed specifically for the CSU system, do not offer adequate preparation for many of UC’s majors, even if the major name is the same. The degrees are different,” Yoon-Wu said in an interview this week.
UC officials reiterated their opposition to the bill during the system’s board of regents meeting Wednesday in San Francisco. James Steintrager, a professor of English at UC Irvine and vice chair of UC’s Academic Senate, cited “crucial differences in the majors as offered by CSU and the majors as offered by UC” and said a “one-size-fits-all” approach won’t benefit students.