California community college students will be guaranteed admission into the University of California if they meet certain course requirements.
The University of California and the California Community Colleges agreed Wednesday that students who do well in courses that UC faculty helped develop will be admitted to a UC campus, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The agreement will apply to students who begin community college in fall 2019.
The courses will lead to an associate degree for transfer into UC. Applicants may not get into their first choice, but will be admitted into one of the nine undergraduate UC campuses.
Collaborating with the community colleges "will not only make it easier for qualified students to transfer to the university, it will help ensure that they excel once they arrive," UC President Janet Napolitano said in a statement.
UC enrolled 20,000 transfer students this year — the most in its history. Most of them came from community colleges.
California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley said that transfer students at UC do as well as or better academically than those who begin as freshmen.
"I'm pleased that President Napolitano and I and our two Faculty Senates were willing to come together and improve access to more transfer students," he said.
A similar program was established in 2013 for guaranteed transfer into California State University, though that didn't accelerate transfers into CSU.
Paul Feist, a spokesman for the community college system, said that lingering effects of the recession could be the cause.
"Both systems were recovering from drastic cuts," he said.
Claire Doan, a UC spokeswoman, said it was too early to predict how UC's new admissions guarantee might impact transfer enrollment.
But UC faculty and students have repeatedly complained to the governing Board of Regents that classroom space and dorms haven't kept pace with rising enrollment.