The California Community Colleges and the University of California today announced they have signed a joint agreement aimed at increasing the number of academically prepared community college students who transfer to UC and earn a bachelor’s degree.
UC President Janet Napolitano and California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley signed the memorandum of understanding, “Enhancing Student Transfer,” that immediately initiates a comprehensive effort to guarantee admission for all qualifying California community college transfer students to the University of California’s system of nine undergraduate campuses.
“Further collaborating and coordinating with the California Community Colleges will not only make it easier for qualified students to transfer to the university, it will help ensure that they excel once they arrive,” Napolitano said. “We hope to see the tangible, positive effects of these efforts by fall of next year.”
“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,” said Oakley. “This agreement when fully implemented will help more Californians from all backgrounds realize the promise of higher education and move our state forward.”
Under the MOU, students who complete one of the UC pathways and achieve the requisite GPA will be guaranteed a place within the UC system. These guarantees will be in place for students beginning community college in fall 2019.
Existing transfer admission guarantees, known as TAGs, negotiated between a student and an individual campus will be retained. Where the California Community College Associate Degree for Transfer meets or exceeds the major requirements in a UC transfer pathway for the same major — as determined by the UC Academic Senate in consultation with the California Community Colleges Academic Senate — it will be accepted in lieu of a pathway for purposes of the guarantee.
“Our focus has long been on students’ transfer success,” said UC Academic Senate Chair Shane White. “We want to ensure that good academic preparation is incentivized and rewarded and that transfer students are well prepared academically to succeed once they are at UC. I look forward to the continued work toward this goal by my UC and community college faculty colleagues.”
“Ensuring more community college students not only successfully transfer to UC but also achieve the educational milestone of an associate’s degree is a win for everyone,” said Julie Bruno, president of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. “We look forward to continuing our work with our UC faculty colleagues to create and promote academic opportunities for our students.”
Noting that increasing transfer rates has never been more important for California’s economy, the MOU outlines a series of efforts that each higher education system will undertake to further that goal. These include partnerships and programs that help community college students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to meet the rigorous academic standards required for UC admission.
“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,” the agreement says.
The MOU details several areas where UC and the community colleges will work together to ensure that the agreement meets the goals it has set forth, including efforts to expand the number of associate degrees that would also satisfy UC major preparation requirements. Key to this is the commitment of the joint leadership to work together to identify and secure the necessary resources.