Napolitano Proposes Guaranteed Admission for Community College Students

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Photo courtesy of Rachael Garner / The Daily Californian.

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UC President Janet Napolitano announced in a speech last Wednesday that she wants the Academic Senate to explore how to guarantee admission to academically eligible community college students.

Napolitano said that the UC can guarantee admission for transfer students based off of the UC’s Transfer Pathways, which are “roadmaps” for community college students to appear competitive for admission to 21 popular majors across UC campuses. If community college students successfully complete a pathway and earn a certain grade point average, Napolitano wants to ensure they will have a spot in the UC. This could make room for “tens of thousands” of California students, according to the UC Newsroom.

“Successful completion of a pathway, along with obtaining the requisite GPA, should entitle a community college student to a comprehensive review by all UC campuses and a guaranteed place in the UC system,” Napolitano said.

Napolitano’s idea would expand the current Transfer Admissions Guarantee program in place at six campuses, Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz, to all nine. However, each campus has its own set of requirements for majors, presenting challenges for community college students to navigate.

UC spokesperson Stephanie Beechum told EdSource that Napolitano’s proposal is “just beginning to be reviewed” and there will likely be a GPA requisite for guaranteed admission. In addition, other criterion like extracurricular activities will have to be another aspect that the Academic Senate to consider.

Napolitano’s goal for the system’s implementation is Fall 2019. However, the Academic Senate would have to approve these policies and the UC Board of Regents may also have to agree to them as well.

Shine Cho is the Managing Editor at The Triton. You can follow her @shinescho

Correction: This article was updated on March 13, 2018 at 8:37 p.m. A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that nine campuses have transfer admission guarantees, when currently only six have this agreement. Napolitano’s proposal would expand the program to all nine.