The biggest question that emerged from the Assembly Committee on Higher Education was how to get create more transfer pathways to the University of California schools. While the California State University schools boast around 40,000 potential pathways to transfer, largely due to their commitment to accepting students that meet certain qualifications, something the UC schools have been reluctant to do.
The assembly, held last Tuesday in the 200 building, brought together committee members from the California State Assembly with the goal of streamlining the transfer process from community college to a university.
Representatives from both the UC and CSU schools were on hand to assess the current state of their school’s transfer experience in the wake of recently enacted legislation designed to encourage transfer pathways.
For the CSU schools, SB 1440 was signed into legislation in September 2010 and created the Associate Degrees for Transfer which guarantees admission to a CSU campus. It established 24 Transfer Model Curriculums to serve as templates to bring the requirements of CSU majors in line with the curriculum of California Community Colleges.
“It is important that we ensure the integrity of the degree at the community college as well as a robust preparation for upper division work upon transfer,” said Michelle Pilati, former president of the Academic Senate for CCC.
The concern of the committee is that they felt a lack of comprehension of these programs by the majority of the CCC students. Ken O’Donnell, the Associate Dean with the Office of the Chancellor of the CSU, said that while the schools have 40,000 potential pathways, most are unused due to lack of student awareness.
The committee had more questions about the UC transfer experience. AB 2302, unlike SB 1440, did not require guaranteed admission pathways like the CSU system, but simply requested that the UC schools consider offering guarantees. Stephen Handel, the Associate Vice President of Undergraduate Admissions for the UC, said that it was important that the universities evaluated each applicant on an individual basis and not offer blanket transfer acceptance but could offer guarantees from the individual schools.
While acceptance of transfer applicants to the UC system has increased by 49 percent in the last seven years, there was a tension with the recent news that UC San Diego would be ending their transfer admission guarantees in 2014 and the possibility of other schools following suit.
Not everyone believed in establishing a set transfer agreement for all UC’s however. Sachin Jain, a graduate student from UC Berkeley and CCC transfer, argued that what makes the UC schools some of the best in the world is their uniqueness in focus and requirements.
For CCC students, the committee will look to improve online information about the various transfer pathways to universities to compensate for the current lack of counselors at community colleges. The hope of the Committee on Higher Education continues to be finding a place for every student who is eligible to transfer to a university.