Saturday, April 13

UC dual admission program to grant applicants deferred transfer acceptance

Royce Hall is pictured. Six University of California campuses are offering the opportunity for delayed admission to their college after at least two years of community college. (Anika Chakrabarti/Photo editor)

University of California campuses launched a dual admission pilot program to allow high school graduates deferred transfer acceptance into a participating UC.

The three-year dual admission pilot program will provide students the opportunity to enroll in a community college while having a guaranteed transfer acceptance to a UC or California State University, according to UC Newsroom. The program will go into effect during the spring 2023 admission cycle, and the first cohort for fall 2023 can transfer as early as fall 2025, said Han Mi Yoon-Wu, executive director of undergraduate admissions at the UC Office of the President.

Legislation passed in 2021 required the UC and CSU to create a pathway for conditional admission to a four-year institution if students begin at community college, Yoon-Wu said. This bill stemmed from an interest in improving the transfer process for students in community colleges, said Hans Johnson, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California Higher Education Center.

The program is for high school seniors ineligible for admission into a UC immediately after graduation because of missing one or more of their A-G subject requirements at the time of application, Yoon-Wu said. It will also try to accommodate students unable to meet the requirements due to curriculum deficiencies and geographic and financial constraints, she said.

Students with a 3.0 GPA can then have an admission guarantee at one of the six participating campuses: UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz, she added.

“One of the huge challenges California faces in terms of improving educational attainment is finding ways for students at the community colleges to, as seamlessly and easily as possible, transfer to a four year college or university,” Johnson said.

Barriers to admissions requirements and multiple application processes prevent many community college students from transferring, Johnson said. With this program, students can complete required lower division coursework while obtaining delayed acceptance, guaranteeing their spot at a four-year institution as they begin higher education, he added.

UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego will not be part of this program, given they lack transfer articulation agreements with any local community colleges due to the volume of applicants and lack of space, Johnson said. Without having transfer-guaranteed admission, they are able to look at applicants beyond a GPA threshold and major preparation requirements, Yoon-Wu said.

UCLA is working with UCOP to develop ways in which it can support the program through transfer advising or access to facilities for participating students, said Gary Clark, executive director of undergraduate admissions, in an emailed statement.

Across the other six campuses, the UC estimates there are around 3,700 students who could qualify for this program, Yoon-Wu said.

“We will be working with them from day one, from when they opt in to be part of the program and also help coordinate the advising that’s going to happen at their community college so that they’re best equipped to transfer in a timely fashion,” Yoon-Wu said.

California’s community colleges serve the most diverse set of students among all three systems and fully reflect the state’s high school diversity in terms of race, ethnicity and financial status, Johnson said. The approach of this program is pathbreaking and should continue to be modeled and diversified to include as many students as possible, he added.

“If we want to ensure that higher education still serves as a ladder of educational and economic mobility, then finding ways to improve transfer(ring) is central to that challenge,” Johnson said.

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