Faculty give thumbs up to dual admissions plan
Measure heads to regents, for final approval, as early as July

By Marina Dundjerski, UCLA Public Affairs

06 June 2001 | The UC Assembly of the Academic Senate, meeting at UCLA on May 23, approved a new pathway for students to enter the state’s flagship university system: the Dual Admissions Program.

Proposed by UC President Richard Atkinson last September, the program would admit students who are not UC-eligible under current rules, but could be if they transferred successfully from a community college.

Dual admissions would identify high school students who are in the top 4 percent to 12.5 percent of their graduating class. (Seniors in the top 4 percent are already considered UC-eligible through the Eligibility in the Local Context program, which will take effect for first time with this fall’s freshman class.)

Dual admission-eligible students would be admitted simultaneously to a community college and a specific UC campus. After completing a set of required courses over two years at a community college, they would transfer to that UC campus.

Math Chair Calvin Moore, who heads the Berkeley Academic Senate committee responsible for setting admissions criteria, called the dual admissions plan “a helpful step in providing greater access to the university.”

He added that individual campuses need flexibility in how they implement the program, and that the plan approved by the systemwide Academic Senate has taken that into account. “We are pleased with the degree of autonomy that is provided,” he said.

The plan now goes to the Board of Regents, which could vote on the issue as early as July. If approved, students could enter under the Dual Admissions Program in 2003.

While the Academic Assembly approved the proposal by a near-unanimous vote, many members voiced strong concerns.

According to its supporters, the program could help UC meet enrollment goals set with the state and increase the number of community college transfers from some 11,500 to about 15,300 by 2005.

Early estimates show that 9,000 students may be eligible for dual admissions, yielding about 1,000 to 3,000 successful transfers, said UC San Francisco Professor Dorothy Perry, who chairs the UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools.

But it could be a costly undertaking. Perry estimated that the plan could cost about $5 million in its first year, largely to pay for counselors and support staff.

At the request of the Berkeley division of the Academic Senate, the campus this year launched a close cousin to the dual admissions process, the Fresh Start pilot program.

“We wanted to get a head start on the dual admissions program,” said Pam Burnett, Berkeley’s director of Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools.

Under Fresh Start, Burnett said, “we identified ineligible students who were recommended by the readers, on an individual basis, for another review in our freshman selection process.”

More than 165 applicants were offered the opportunity to transfer to Berkeley as juniors, beginning in fall 2003, provided they complete a preparatory curriculum in community college and maintain a 3.3 grade-point average. About 30 students accepted, Moore said.

The Assembly approved the dual admissions plan on the condition that the Office of the President identify adequate funding for counseling and support. In addition, the Assembly specified that Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools must review the plan five years after the first students are admitted.

Some faculty expressed concern that students might want to enroll only in the most selective UC campuses, including Berkeley.

But the program allows campuses to reject students if they don’t meet transfer requirements, Perry said.

Marina Dundjerski, a staff writer for UCLA Public Affairs, covered the systemwide Academic Senate meeting for both UCLA Today and the Berkeleyan. Cathy Cockrell, Berkeleyan associate editor, contributed to this story.


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