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UC President Janet Napolitano wants to streamline transfers for community college students




File: Janet Napolitano speaks during a panel discussion on advancing women in politics at the National Democratic Institute Luncheon in Washington, D.C., May 19, 2014.
File: Janet Napolitano speaks during a panel discussion on advancing women in politics at the National Democratic Institute Luncheon in Washington, D.C., May 19, 2014.
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

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The University of California Board of Regents is meeting Tuesday at UCLA. One of the topics that could come up for discussion is the process for community college students transferring to UC schools.

Last week, UC President Janet Napolitano said she hopes to change the way the transfer process works so all community college students who meet certain grade point and class requirements would be guaranteed admission to a UC school. 

Napolitano said the UC system is close to guaranteed admissions for transfers now, but this is an important step to finish that work. 

Our aim is to have one community college student for every two true freshman and that they enter the university prepared for upper division work so they can graduate in two years. That's what the guarantee is all about.

The changes aren't set in stone, but Napolitano said the new transfer process is likely to be based on current Transfer Pathways, which are sets of classes community college students can take that UC schools accept for credit.

Right now, Transfer Pathways only guarantee a student is eligible to apply for a UC, but that's what Napolitano hopes to change.

This [change] is that you'd actually be guaranteed a seat, and we hope by having a guarantee, that that will incentivize more community college students to take a Transfer Pathway and really pursue their Bachelor's degree at the university. 

The UC system feels confident that it has the capacity to support the increased number of transfer students that could result from this change, Napolitano said, but they will have to look closely at whether or not more resources could be needed.

Increasing the four-year graduation rate is another big goal for the UC system, which would make room for thousands more students to make their way through the institution. Right now the four-year graduation rate is around 64%, Napolitano said, and the goal is to raise that to 70% by 2030.

The new transfer process still requires more approvals, but when Napolitano announced her plans in a San Fransisco speech last week, she said she hopes to have the changes in place by fall of 2019.

(Note: A previous version of this story misstated that the UC system wanted one community college transfer for every true freshman, not every two true freshman. It has since been corrected.)