Thursday, Nov. 14, 2002
Lavonne Luquis (510) 987-9194
Hanan Eisenman (510) 587-6194
UC FACULTY REPORT FINDS SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION
OF COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW, IDENTIFIES AREAS FOR FURTHER STUDY
The University of California's new policy of reviewing all
freshman applications in a comprehensive manner has been implemented
successfully and has maintained the academic strength of the
freshman class, according to a new report by the UC faculty.
The report by the Academic Senate also identifies several
issues associated with the "comprehensive review"
admissions process that are worthy of further study by the
faculty as details of the process are refined in the coming
"Preserving the University of California's high academic
standards is a top priority for the faculty,"said Gayle
N. Binion, chair of the systemwide Academic Council and a
professor of political science at UC Santa Barbara. "The
faculty conducted a very thorough analysis of comprehensive
review and found that it was implemented in accordance with
regents' policy and in a manner that has maintained consistency
and integrity in UC admissions."
In the UC admissions process, applicants are determined to
be "UC-eligible" based on their grades in UC-required
courses and their scores on standardized tests. All UC-eligible
students are guaranteed a place in the UC system, though not
necessarily at their campus of choice. Each campus has a selection
process to admit students from its pool of UC-eligible applicants.
The policy of comprehensive review was adopted by the UC
Board of Regents in November 2001 and implemented for the
fall 2002 admissions cycle at the six UC campuses that cannot
accommodate all UC-eligible applicants. Under comprehensive
review, campus admissions officers use all 14 UC admissions
criteria to evaluate applicants, and no UC-eligible applicant
is denied admission without a review of the entire application.
Prior to the fall 2002 admissions cycle, the same 14 admissions
criteria were used to admit 25-50 percent of each campus's
freshman class; the rest were admitted on the basis of certain
academic factors alone. Now, the full 14 criteria are used
in evaluating all applications -- an approach intended to
facilitate decision-making in the highly competitive UC admissions
environment, where differences among students' quantitative
academic records are often very fine.
In adopting comprehensive review, the Board of Regents requested
that the Academic Senate provide an annual assessment of its
implementation. The report on the first year of implementation
was presented to the regents at their meeting today (Nov.
14) in San Francisco.
"Our analysis found that academic achievement is still
by far the predominant consideration in UC admissions and
that access to UC has been maintained for students of all
demographic backgrounds," said Barbara A. Sawrey, a chemistry
professor at UC San Diego and chair of the Academic Senate's
Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS), which
authored the report. "We also expect that the process
will be fine-tuned each year, and we have identified several
issues for further study and discussion to facilitate that
Specifically, the report makes the following findings:
- All six selective campuses were successful in implementing
comprehensive review within UC policy and guidelines.
- The campuses went to great lengths to ensure consistency
in their admissions decisions and integrity in their processes.
- The academic preparation of the entering class, as measured
by traditional indicators such as high school grade point
average, admissions test scores, and the breadth and depth
of high school coursework completed, has generally remained
stable or improved slightly under comprehensive review.
- The degree to which the campuses are accessible to low-income
or educationally disadvantaged students has not declined,
and some campuses have seen increases.
Areas the report identifies for further study and discussion
- As students admitted under comprehensive review continue
their studies at UC, records of their academic performance
should be tracked for further analysis.
- Campuses already verify the accuracy of applicants' self-reported
academic record. Two pilot programs verified additional
information in the application during the first year of
comprehensive review, and a systemwide verification process
will begin in the fall 2003 admissions process to ensure
the reliability of information on the application.
- The ability to achieve academically while overcoming adversity
is a factor worthy of consideration in the admissions process.
BOARS encourages campuses to conduct further analyses to
illuminate the role of "hardship" in the admissions
process -- and to demonstrate clearly the overwhelming role
of academic achievement in the admission decision.
- UC campuses have done a generally good job of explaining
their admissions processes, but more can be done to enhance
the clarity of the process for students and parents. To
this end, BOARS will undertake a review of UC communications
on admissions issues.
The full report is available at: http://www.ucop.edu/regents/regmeet/nov02/302attach.pdf
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