The Senate Source

April 2016

UC Faculty Approve Eleven More Transfer Pathways

UC faculty have approved transfer preparation course sequences for eleven popular majors in the latest Senate effort to help California Community College (CCC) students prepare successfully for UC transfer. 

The “Transfer Pathways” are a set of courses representing UC’s best advice to transfer students about the preparation that will ensure they are competitive for admission at all nine undergraduate campuses and prepared to graduate two years after matriculation.

A series of meetings in October 2015 brought together campus faculty and academic administrators responsible for evaluating and/or deciding transfer preparation requirements from English, Film and Media Studies, History, Philosophy, Business Administration, Communication, Political Science, Psychology, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. The agreements reached at the meetings were then vetted and approved by campus faculty.

Following the most recent approvals, UC has 21 Transfer Pathways. A systemwide website provides details and guidance to students.

“There was skepticism initially that the faculty would agree to sets of systemwide recommendations for transfer preparation,” said Academic Senate Chair Dan Hare. “But during the course of the meetings to prepare the drafts of the pathways, the faculty delegates recognized the value not only to the potential transferee, but also to UC and their departments, of developing an inclusive set of recommendations that incorporated each division’s expectations for pre-transfer preparation.”

The effort follows a recommendation in the 2014 Transfer Action Team report to streamline the CCC-to-UC transfer admission process by aligning the preparation requirements for specific majors across UC campuses. That report revealed that CCC students often have difficulty preparing simultaneously for transfer into a similar major at multiple UC campuses. President Napolitano asked the Senate to facilitate the completion of agreements for 10 majors by the end of the 2014-2015 academic year, and 11 more this year.

Some campuses may ask students to take specific, additional courses outside of the Pathway after they transfer, but students will not be disadvantaged in admission if they lack those courses.

At the request of the campuses, the Senate has also developed a procedure for adding smaller, specialized majors on specific campuses to an existing Pathway, in recognition that the Pathways may provide sufficient pre-major preparation for related majors.

Senate Chair Hare says those majors may be smaller, or not offered on every campus under the same name, and prospective students may not be aware that they even exist as options.

“If the faculty in charge of those majors agree, we will include them on the systemwide Transfer Pathways website,” he said. “The additional information should benefit not only the potential transfer, but also the departments with majors that are otherwise too small to be included on the systemwide website.”

Departments and undergraduate programs have been asked to review the existing 21 transfer pathways, to identify any additional majors for which the existing pathways specify appropriate pre-major preparation. So far, 15 specialized majors in physics, economics, and the life sciences at several campuses have linked to an existing Transfer Pathway that provides the expected pre-transfer preparation.

One of the next steps is for UCOP to examine articulation gaps between specific community colleges and the nine undergraduate UC campuses for courses in the 21 Pathways. In some cases, individual UC campuses may be able to address gaps. There may also be opportunities for CCCs to adjust courses to align with the Pathways. Articulation gaps exist for various reasons, including misaligned course expectations or the lack of a course offering at a particular CCC.

The Senate has also approved a plan to pilot the use of Course Identification Numbers (C-IDs) for course-to-course articulation of a select number of UC Transfer Pathways to establish UC systemwide articulation for as many Pathway course expectations as possible. The pilot will also help UC fill gaps in the articulation of courses in three Pathways on all nine campuses.