Pilot CVHEC/UC Merced Transfer Project improves process for students  

Rollout of Program Mapper software app for transfers set for Nov. 4

A pilot program developed between the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium and three member institutions — UC Merced, Merced College and Bakersfield College — is showing promise for outstanding results that can enhance a community college student’s transfer experience including a new web-based software application, Program Mapper.

This new initiative, the CVHEC/UC Merced Transfer Project, was presented to the CVHEC Board of Directors, made up the presidents and chancellors of CVHEC’s 29-member institutions, at its quarterly meeting Sept. 3.

Tom Burke, chancellor-emeritus of the Kern Community College District, has been recruited to serve as the Transfer Project coordinator, Dr. Ben Duran, CVHEC executive director, also announced to the board.   

The specific aim of the initial pilot project is to increase the number of successful and timely transfers from the Central Valley member community colleges in CVHEC’s nine-county region to UCM, reports Stan Carrizosa, southern regional coordinator for the consortium.

And work is well underway to implement the same type of partnership transfer agreements between Bakersfield College and CSU Bakersfield with the intent to make this new model available for community college transfers to the region’s other California State University campuses at Fresno and Stanislaus as well, Carrizosa reported. Project resource teams are currently being solicited from each community college with the goal to eventually begin replicating the faculty convenings and admissions/articulation alignments developed through the pilot.

“All of CVHEC’s 17 community college members have accepted our invitation to participate in the process developed by the colleges in the pilot project with the tentative timeline for completion projected for the end of the spring semester and summer,” added Carrizosa, a former superintendent/president with College of the Sequoias. “This tentative timeline would position all final transfer admission pathways to be approved by UC Merced for full implementation beginning in the fall semester, 2023.”

Duran 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,” Duran reported to the board. “This kind of collaboration, especially intersegmentally, just isn’t happening. This is a big win for the Central Valley.”

This new initiative builds on the 10-year effort by the state’s community colleges to expedite a successful transfer by implementing the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) agreement, specific lower-division course sequences for approval by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and CSU campuses, to fulfill the 60-unit transfer requirements for various majors offered throughout the colleges in the CSU system.

Specifically for this pilot, UCM faculty were invited to review the CSU-approved ADT’s developed previously, and which are becoming more widely known by Central Valley community college students. They were asked to consider approval of selected ADTs to fulfill the lower division transfer requirements for these same discipline majors at UCM.

“To date, the work of the pilot project colleges is progressing nicely,” Carrizosa reported. “These intersegmental teams have reviewed and approved up to 15 different ADT discipline majors. They adjusted and aligned course syllabi where needed — to be approved by UCM faculty — to fulfill the lower division requirements for successful transfer admissions to UCM.”

In addition to the review and approval of the various ADT discipline majors, Carrizosa said the teams are also identifying the specific upper division courses required for students once admitted to UCM and aligning these with the ADT to show a four-year sequence to be called the “UCM transfer admission pathways for students.”

Once completed and approved, the courses are being uploaded into the new web-based software application Program Mapper.

“This application enables students to select the community college they are attending and identify the ADT they may be interested in being enrolled in,” Carrizosa said. “From there, Program Mapper will automatically display the required community college courses for their ADT and the required upper division courses for that major at UC Merced in the format of a four-year Transfer Admission Plan (TAP).”

Plans are underway to unveil the Transfer Project and Program Mapper application at a special event Nov. 4 at UC Merced. (Event details of the Program Mapper and launch will be forthcoming in the October CVHEC e-newsletter).

Funding for the Transfer Project is provided in part by the Fresno K-16 Collaborative with support from California Governor Newsome’s office and by the College Futures Foundation.