UC, CSU Systems Work to Raise Junior College Transfer Rates

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The University of California announced yesterday that it will work with the California State University and community colleges to increase the number of transfer students from community colleges to four-year universities.

Officials said the partnership will make the transfer process smoother and will help to convince community college students that a four-year degree is a viable option.

Members of the partnership will meet to identify target transfer rates and strategies to meet them.

"I've told the regents previously of my keen interest to work in collaboration to get more community college students to transfer successfully," said UC President Mark Yudof at yesterday's UC Board of Regents meeting.

The partnership comes at a time when enrollment is facing cutbacks. The CSU systems has announced that it will admit 10,000 fewer students next year, while the University of California decided to curtail enrollment by 2,300.

However, the UC system has made an effort to protect transfer student enrollment, increasing the number of transfer students it accepts by 500.

Linda Michalowski, vice chancellor for student services for the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, said community college students often face obstacles in their efforts to go to a CSU or UC campus.

"It's sometimes confusing for them to make themselves competitive," she said. "(You) need to be in a position where you can compete with other students of your major, because those programs are very crowded at the transfer schools."

Although many community colleges would like send more students to UC schools, Berkeley City College is already experiencing a healthy rate of transfer due to its location and partnership with UC Berkeley, said Berkeley City College spokesperson Shirley Fogarino.

"We have the fifth largest transfer rate for a college of our size to UC Berkeley," she said. "For the CSUs, we are consistently in the top 10 percent of community colleges in California."

In 2007-08, the college sent 65 transfer students to UC Berkeley. For community colleges statewide, 2,896 out of the 9,974 transfer students who applied to UC Berkeley were accepted.

However, some students said transferring was difficult due to a lack of guidance and financial barriers.

"If you want to transfer you have to go seek out the information yourself," said Jeremiah Gaw, a sophomore at Berkeley City College who hopes to transfer to UC Berkeley in the fall.

Members of the partnership expressed optimism about increasing the number of transfer students.

"I'm very enthusiastic about working with our higher ed partners on this," said Morgan Lynn, executive vice chancellor for programs of the California community colleges and one of the three heads of the partnership.


Rachel Gross is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected]

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