Pierce College Academic Senate considers improvements to UC transfer system

Pierce ranked among 19 community colleges that sent about half of its students to a University of California, according to the University of California (UC) Transfer Action Report that was reviewed at the Pierce College Academic Senate meeting on Monday, May 19.

The UC Transfer Action Report surveys the community colleges across California and tallies how many students transferred to a UC school. Santa Monica City College was ranked number one, with 783 students transferring to a UC between 2012-13. Other schools, such as Feather River College, only sent one student to a UC, according to the report.

“They really need to improve the scope of where they are getting their transfer students from,” said Sunday Salter, director of the Transfer Center.

The UC Transfer Action Report proposed that community colleges should look into improving their counselors and counseling resources in order to make the transferring process easier.

“I think that counseling does a pretty good job, but they need a little help in getting the word out as well,” said James McKeever, assistant professor of sociology.

In addition to improving counseling, the report suggested that colleges make it easier for students to choose classes that not only meet their need for their major, but can also be transferred to a UC school.

“There is a huge push on all of our departments to modify our curriculum,” said Joe Perret, an instructor in the computer application and office technology department.

Should community colleges follow through with the plan to modify their curriculum to meet the needs of students transferring to a UC, it will create more competition between community colleges across California.

“What that means for us is that we need to continue our push to make sure that we are offering the right courses for our UC-bound students and that is major prep. Their major prep is what sets them apart from everyone else during the admission process,” Salter said.

One of the final things the UC Transfer Report touched on was cost. Attending a UC rather than a California State school is usually more expensive, and that has caused the number of students applying to a UC to decrease. The idea is that the change in curriculum will encourage students to at least apply to a UC.

“Cost shouldn’t be a deciding factor when a student applies to a UC,” Salter said.  “A student should apply to multiple colleges and then they can decide where to go based on cost.”