Thursday, September 21, 2000
Brad Hayward, 510.987.9195


UC President Richard C. Atkinson issued the following statement today (Sept. 21) regarding a proposed plan for increasing educational opportunities at the University of California:

"Over the next decade, there will be a tremendous increase in the number of students preparing to enter California higher education. UC is anticipating more than 60,000 new students by 2010. This level of growth requires all sectors of higher education to aggressively rethink how it serves the state.

"As college-age population grows, I believe that the state and UC must be committed to maintaining the viability of the California Master Plan for Higher Education, which promises a high-quality, affordable college education to all California high school graduates who seek one.

"Having a college-educated population is essential to our state. Students who succeed at UC and other four-year institutions fuel our information-based economy. As higher education institutions, we must continue to equip our young people with the skills necessary to become leaders and engaged participants in a knowledge-based society.

"The University of California has always sought creative and innovative ways to increase educational opportunities for the next generation of Californians. I believe that more must be done to recognize and reward high-achieving students from all areas and backgrounds across the state.

"To meet this challenge of increasing demand for a college education and continue to support the state’s long-term needs, I am asking the Academic Senate to consider a major change in UC’s approach to eligibility and admission.

"I am proposing a new path for students to enter UC, in addition to graduating in the top 12.5 percent statewide or the top 4 percent of their high school. This path would grant admission to an additional 8.5 percent of top students from each high school provided they satisfactorily complete a transfer program at a community college.

"This proposed effort will in effect constitute a dual admission program that strengthens our relations with the California Community Colleges and extends the long-term viability of the Master Plan for Higher Education. Most importantly, it will send a clear signal to students all over the state, from urban and rural schools, from all ethnic groups and all socio-economic groups, that they have a clear path to a UC degree.

"This proposal will require thorough consideration and approval by our faculty. Implementation will present many challenges in outreach, admissions management and coordination of student services. However, the potential benefits justify grasping this chance to increase educational opportunities for more of the state’s students."

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