Focus on Transfer: ADTs, UCTP Degrees, and Community College Bachelor’s Degree Programs

ASCCC Vice President

There has been much work regarding the transfer pathways for our students to four-year institutions over the last year. At its September 2017 meeting, the Board of Governors adopted a Vision for Success with specific goals, including “increasing by 35% the number of CCC [California community college] students system-wide transferring annually to a UC or CSU.” As guided pathway programs are considered in the structure of our institutions, transfer will continue to be a significant area of focus. This article is intended as an update on three areas pertaining to transfer: ADT pathways with statistics; UC Transfer Pathways (UCTP) degrees and the guaranteed admission pilot in chemistry and physics; and transfer into community college bachelor degree programs.

ADT Pathways with Statistics

The Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADTs) outline pathways for our students to the California State University (CSU) system with guarantees of admission and completion within a 60-semester unit threshold.  Initiated by legislation (SB 1440 and SB 440), the ADTs were developed and agreed upon by discipline faculty from both the CSU and CCC systems. These agreements are documented in a Transfer Model Curriculum (TMC) from which colleges create their own ADTs.  In the fall of 2016, the C-ID Math 110 descriptor, Introduction to Statistics, was amended such that the prerequisite for the course is listed as either intermediate algebra or any statistics pathway accepted by the CSU system. There are eight transfer pathways that utilize statistics pathways with guaranteed admission to the CSUs: administration of justice, agriculture animal sciences, agriculture business, agriculture plant science, business, kinesiology, psychology, and public health science.  The ASCCC, the Chancellor’s Office, and the CSU Chancellor’s Office sent memos to the field regarding considerations of statistics pathways within the ADT structure at the end of the spring 2017 term.  In summary, the CSU Chancellor’s Office, the CCC Chancellor’s Office, the Academic Senate of the CSU and the ASCCC, with representatives from the California Acceleration Project, all signed a memo on June 12, 2017 which outlines an agreed upon plan of action: CSU faculty from eight disciplines would need to evaluate whether the lack of intermediate algebra competency will be a barrier for students’ successful completion of upper division major’s preparation courses.  Until those conversations are concluded at the end of the year, nothing in the current structure has changed and students will be held harmless during the deliberative process. 

UCTP Degrees and Guaranteed Admission Pilot in Chemistry and Physics

For two years, the University of California (UC) Office of the President facilitated discipline faculty dialog within the UC system to outline a common expectation of major preparation for transfer students. These conversations resulted in 21 UC Transfer Pathways for that system’s most popular majors. The University of California Academic Senate and the ASCCC have been working for over a year to formulate a pilot program that facilitates guaranteed transfer from the CCCs to the UC system. There has been much concern regarding the gap between science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degree completion and industry needs in California and throughout the country. There was also a desire to pilot a program where the number of transfer students would be manageably small so that the UC system could definitely accept the transfer students at one of its campuses. In addition, there are challenges with the current structure of the TMCs and the ability of colleges to meet the unit requirements of the lower division preparation courses for these disciplines.  As a result, the initial pilot has been developed for transfer students in chemistry and physics. By the end of the fall 2017 term, a degree template should be released that reflects the UCTP for the disciplines of chemistry and physics. The template should include required courses for preparation within the major, as well as a modified general education pattern based on IGETC but which delays, until after transfer, four specific general education courses. Students earning a UCTP degree with a specified GPA will be guaranteed admission to the UC system. Once the UCTP template is released, curriculum committees and discipline faculty in physics and chemistry should look for guidance from the Chancellor’s Office to engage the college curriculum process within the catalog deadlines of the college.  

Community College Bachelor’s Degree Program Transfer

This fall, all 15 pilot colleges in the CCCs will have students enrolled in baccalaureate programs.  All 15 have worked tremendously hard to ensure that appropriate rigor and curricular design, admissions policies, financial aid, and accreditation standards are met and that the programs are ready for students.  The programs were initially selected, in part, on the needs of the local workforce.  However, now that the programs are up and running, it is incumbent upon the system to ensure access to as many California residents as possible.  In other words, with only one or two programs at publicly funded institutions in the state, we need to make sure that all California residents have access. To this end, four disciplines were selected to engage the C-ID Discipline Input Group process: dental hygiene, respiratory care, biomanufacturing, and automotive. Dental hygiene and respiratory care were selected as both disciplines have significant regulatory and discipline accreditation demands. Biomanufacturing is an emerging field of study across the system. Automotive is widely offered at the associate’s degree level in the state.  By engaging these four disciplines, we hope to be able to advise transfer students from any community college how to prepare for application to these fields at the baccalaureate level.

While each of these efforts are at different stages of development and/or discussion, all three areas align under the guiding principle of providing pathways for student completion and transfer. Moreover, the clear need to provide educational opportunities beyond the associate’s degree for our students at public institutions drives us to further action. Updates will be provided throughout the year at plenary sessions, institutes, and emails as additional agreements are reached to be sure our collaborative efforts to provide transfer opportunities are realized at our individual colleges.