Applying to UC campuses this fall will be easier for students at 58 high schools and community colleges who will be able to apply over the Internet.
Electronic applications can be filed at home, at school, from a laptop computer or anywhere a student has access to a computer with a link to the Internet.
UC President Richard C. Atkinson introduced the new service, called Pathways, at a Nov. 1 press conference at Oakland Technical High School, the only East Bay school in the pilot project.
The project is being coordinated by the Office of the President in cooperation with Berkeley and the seven other general campuses and business partner IBM.
Through the use of electronic data interchange, Pathways collects grades and other academic records, students' essays, and other information used to determine admission. Pathways incorporates the latest security measures to protect the integrity of student information and records.
"Pathways is exciting for two reasons," said Atkinson. "First, it puts in the hands of students cutting-edge technology that will greatly simplify the application process and allow them to file information at the click of a mouse."
"Second, Pathways shows how a cooperative partnership between the university and industry, in this case IBM, is helping UC work more efficiently and effectively," he said.
This year, some 2,000 students are expected to file their applications electronically. Eventually most of the 70,000 applications UC receives annually will be filed through Pathways. UC is also exploring with California State University system developing a joint electronic application sometime in the near future.
Pathways, however, is more than an electronic admissions program.
When fully implemented, it will provide an online outreach, counseling and admissions system unlike any currently in use. Many universities now allow students to file their applications on computer disks, but several features distinguish Pathways from those programs.
Eventually, Pathways will include photographs and short films. "A student will be able to see a film clip of a chemistry course at UC Santa Barbara or a clip showing dorm life at UC San Diego," said Jim Dolgonas, UC director of information systems and computing.
Students will also have the ability to store information in a Pathways portfolio they could later use in completing the admissions application.
As early as the ninth grade, students can begin keeping a record of their classes, extracurricular activities, honors and awards and other personal achievements. Pathways can be viewed on the web at http://www.ucop.edu/pathways/