Charting Better Maps to Degrees

Historic UC Merced transfer initiative with Bakersfield, Merced Colleges launches Nov. 4

A hybrid convening at the University of California, Merced Nov. 4, “Charting Better Maps to Degrees,” will launch the historic UC Merced Transfer Pathways initiative between three Central Valley Higher Education Consortium member campuses and demonstrate how the new Program Pathways Mapper can revolutionize positive outcomes across enrollment, completions and equity for students.

UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz will be joined by Bakersfield President Sonya Christian, Merced College President Chris Vitelli and CVHEC Executive Director Benjamin T. Duran. Also speaking will be Dr. Craig Hayward, dean of Institutional Effectiveness at Bakersfield College and  Wayne Skipper, president of Concentric Sky.

The pilot transfer project and the hybrid in-person/virtual event are the result of a $500,000 grant from the California Educational Learning Lab to Bakersfield College, Merced College, and UC Merced for the development of 2+2 transfer maps that streamline and guide the transfer of community college students to the University of California system.

During the event, which will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the UC Merced Conference Center, the grant team will unveil the UC prototype of the Program Pathways Mapper that will make online, interactive transfer maps freely available for current and prospective students.

The convening also will be digitally mediated allowing both virtual and in-person attendees to interact and participate together while providing a higher education bridge across the valley floor.

“UC Merced was created in the Valley to help serve the Valley and we are dedicated to fulfilling that mission,” said Chancellor Muñoz, who will welcome the participants at 9 a.m. followed by the community college presidents and Duran. “This project to simplify transfer pathways means that more young people from our region will recognize a UC education as an achievable goal, and will help students, educators and families chart a course to that goal.”

Duran will discuss CVHEC’s support for the regional roll-out of the Program Pathways Mapper for colleges and universities in the Central Valley. CVHEC consists of 29 colleges in the nine-county region from Stockton to Bakersfield with the presidents/chancellors of each member institution serving as the board of directors.

He said this groundbreaking project, which supports CVHEC’s core mission to improve college completion rates while also supporting the valley’s only UC campus in collaboration with member community colleges, is unique in the state.

“Nothing like this is taking place anywhere else in California that I’m aware of,” said Duran a former Merced College president. “This kind of collaboration, especially intersegmentally, just isn’t happening. This is a big win for the Central Valley.”

Work is well underway to implement the same type of partnership transfer agreements between CVHEC’s CSU member campuses at Bakersfield, Fresno and Stanislaus, he said, with the intent to make this new model available for community college transfers in other regions of the valley.

Members and prospective members of the Program Pathways Mapper community are invited to attend the free event that will include breakfast and lunch. Space is limited but registration is available at

For additional information and updates, including details on speakers and breakout sessions, see

Additional event questions may be directed to Lori Ortiz,  executive secretary for the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at Bakersfield College at