Community college students applying for the University California San Diego’s Transfer Admission Guarantee program in November, for a fall 2014 transfer, will be the last students eligible to participate in the program.
UC San Diego announced in 2012 that it was doing away with the 27-year-old program that guaranteed admission to UC San Diego for thousands of transfer students in California community colleges, including Southwestern College.
UC San Diego is officially pulling the plug on the admittance program at the end of Southwestern College’s fall semester, which ends Dec. 20
UC San Diego Assistant Vice Chancellor for Admission and Enrollment Services Mae Brown said the university is doing away with the guarantee because UC San Diego is too impacted and it can no longer guarantee space for TAG students.
“We had a commitment to all 112 community colleges in the state of California,” Brown said. “And as you might imagine, with that broad of a guarantee, as popular as UCSD was becoming, it became very difficult to have a guarantee of admission out there for every transfer student at 112 community colleges.”
Brown said TAG helped the La Jolla university reach a record number of applicants the past five years. UC San Diego saw a 68 percent increase in applications from 2006 to 2013, a growth from 8,900 applicants to 15,000.
Southwestern College Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Angelica Suarez said UC San Diego told the South Bay community college that it is throwing out the TAG program because it can no longer cater to the students in the region.
“Basically what they indicated is that they needed to end the agreement because they cannot provide regional preference to San Diego and Imperial counties,” Suarez said. “However, this was of course an agreement that has been in place over 20 years truly providing educational access for us, residents of South County.”
She said the local junior college and UC San Diego have been working together in coming up with other alternative pathways to help students get to UC San Diego.
Suarez said once TAG is eliminated, a Southwestern College student will have to apply to UC San Diego like any other student; she said there will not be any kind of preference for them.
Brown said there are other routes a transfer student can take if they still wish to transfer to UC San Diego, such as the Intersegmental General Education Transform Curriculum or the articulation agreement.
IGETC is a series of courses that California community college students may complete to satisfy the lower-division general education requirements at both UC and California State University, according to the University of California website. The articulation agreement is another program helping students transfer.
The IGETC does not guarantee admission into UC San Diego, but it lays out the criteria needed to transfer to the four-year university.
“Our goal was to make available UC San Diego to all students coming from California community colleges who meet the selection criteria,” Brown said.
Jose Esparza, a senior at UC San Diego and a psychology major, was admitted to UC San Diego from Southwestern College because of TAG.
Esparza said eliminating the TAG creates more money for the university.
“It seems like this move toward freeing up the extra spaces for admission to students who are out-of-state or international makes strong economic sense,” he said. “But ultimately what it is going to come down to is that they are eliminating one institution from low income areas or from marginalized groups of people within this county that normally wouldn’t have access to that.”
To meet the TAG criteria, California community college students need to maintain a minimum 3.5 grade point average, and students must complete UC math and English composition classes. Students must also be juniors when transferring.