Making the community college-to-UC transfer a little easier

Community college students are expected to find a smoother path in their plans to transfer to a University of California campus as a result of a new listing of recommended courses they should take in various majors.

The new "transfer pathways" lists and related website were introduced Tuesday and cover 10 of UC’s most popular majors: anthropology, biochemistry, biology, cell biology, chemistry, economics, mathematics, molecular biology, physics and sociology. Eleven more majors are expected to be added later this year, officials said.

Students are not guaranteed admission to a UC or a particular major as the result of taking all the suggested courses in the listings. However, successfully completing the recommended classes is supposed to give those students a leg up in the application process and will align their studies to work required at UC, possibly allowing them to finish their bachelor's degrees faster than originally anticipated.

The new course listing, created by UC faculty, was unveiled Tuesday at a Sacramento event attended by UC President Janet Napolitano and California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice. W. Harris.

Napolitano said in an interview that the pathways will help end the confusion transfer students faced in trying to figure out which courses to take and how to apply to several of the nine UC undergraduate campuses. In the past, having each UC campus require different classes "was a deterrent to transfers," she said. The change "clears the underbrush."

The UC system, under pressure from Gov. Jerry Brown, has promised to enroll more transfer students from community colleges as part of an agreement increasing state funding.

Some individual community colleges and UC campuses long have had agreements that guarantee students a transfer if they complete certain courses with appropriate grade levels. The new pathways provide more of a systemwide approach and also make comparisons to what the Cal State system requires, officials said.

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