Beginning in Fall 2019, community college students who complete sequences of courses known as Pathways will be guaranteed a spot at one of the University of California’s nine campuses. The new agreement recently reached between UC President Janet Napolitano and California Community College President Eloy Ortiz Oakley will make it easier to transfer into particular majors in the UC system if students’ grades are high enough. Currently, 21 subject area pathways have been identified with more to be added.
Both community colleges and UC officials caution that the agreement does not mean that students will be admitted to their first-choice campus. But the expectation is that the number of community college students who transfer to a UC will increase by 10 to 15 percent in the first few years with more in subsequent years. Many of these students are predicted to be low income students who come from more rural areas of California. 20,000 students transferred to the University of California in 2017.
This new memorandum of understanding represents a major change from the current agreement between the community colleges and UC system which confers an advantage in competitive admission but not a locked guarantee. Accordingly to UC President Napolitano, the agreement will “not only make it easier for qualified students to transfer the University, it will help ensure that they excel once they arrive.”
The UC Academic Senate will approve the final details of the agreement as well as set required grade point averages for transfer, which is currently a minimum of 2.4 in transferable courses and can be higher in certain majors.