Tag! This college is it

Students hoping to transfer to a UC have a sure fire way with the Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program.

TAG has a 100 percent guaranteed admission if students meet the eligibility requirements for one of the six schools listed. Eligible schools for the UC TAG program include: UC Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz. UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego are excluded from the program.

Career Guidance Counselor Assistant Transfer Mentor Rosa Medrano has been working at the Pierce Transfer and Career Center for two years. She helps students who need assistance on all matters of transferring.

The TAG application opens every Sept. 1 and closes Sept. 30. Students can only fill out applications during the fall semester. Students who apply need a minimum of 30 UC transferable units.

“Students need to be careful when they are tagging a UC because they want to make sure that they meet the requirements. I can’t necessarily tell a student that they qualify for UC Santa Barbara if we don’t know if they have the GPA requirement. We also take into consideration if they have the UC transferable units they need,” Medrano said.

Students wanting to transfer must follow the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC), which is an educational plan that helps students transfer into the UC system by guiding them to take transferable general education courses.

STEM are the most popular majors for TAG students. Students in a STEM major don’t need to follow the IGETC exactly, but they still need to meet the requirements.

UC requirements can be found on the TAG matrix, which can be found on the Transfer Center page on the Pierce College website. It includes all the information a prospective transfer student needs. The TAG matrix is updated every year.

“A student will need to check the TAG matrix to check the requirements for each campus and to see what majors are guaranteed as a part of the program,” Medrano said.

Once a student acquires the minimum 30 UC transferable units, they are able to apply for a TAG application. If a student is trying to transfer this semester, then by spring 2018 they should have the 60 UC transferable units required to fulfill TAG.

“We encourage students to find out about the TAG program as early as possible. Don’t wait until you are ready to transfer. Sometimes, with the requirements to TAG, a school might require a student to have their English composition ready by this fall or by spring. If a student does not have all of their requirements met, then they can be disqualified from TAG,” Medrano said.

At Pierce, there are several workshops that help students transfer. There were a total of six workshops dedicated to TAG this semester with the last application workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 26. All TAG workshops include a counselor who is assigned to help students transfer.

Additionally, there are Cal. State workshops and UC workshops that help students respond to personal insight questions for the UC application.

If a student decides to enroll in the TAG program, they can the Transfer Admission Planner, which helps a student track their progress toward meeting the minimum requirements for UCs.

“When a student wants to do the TAG program they can only tag one UC, and they need to submit a separate admission application,” Medrano said.

In the Transfer Admission Planner, a student includes every course taken at any community college, which is akin to what is on their transcript. This includes any W’s or fails, repeated courses, academic renewals and courses taken that were transferable or nontransferable.

“If you qualify for TAG then you submit the TAG application between September 1 and September 30 and if you don’t you can skip this step and you can just submit the UC application submission on Nov. 1,” Medrano said.

Sunday Salter, the Transfer Center Director, oversees all the campus transfer programs including TAG. She said being a TAG candidate is such a benefit to Pierce students hoping to transfer to a UC.

“It gives students the chance to see themselves as a potential UC candidate, whereas before, if they didn’t know they had this guarantee, they may not apply,” Salter said. “They might say I’m not smart enough for UC or I’m not UC material, but when they see the TAG requirements they see that the GPAs are really reasonable.”

At least 350 students have applied for the TAG program and started working on their applications this year, Salter said. About 100 students have already submitted their TAG application.

David Turcotte, a full-time Career and Technical Education Counselor at Pierce, dedicates his time to helping students succeed. He provides information on Pierce College Career Center services, educational programs and student support services.

He said he likes the TAG program because it gives students a clear guide to admittance to a UC.

“As long as you complete those general education requirements and you follow the matrix, it really makes it a lot easier for students to plan out their education to attend a UC,” Turcotte said.