CSULB proposes changes to admissions process

Cal State Long Beach proposed referring more local students to Long Beach City College in an effort to accept more non-local students, in the first of three public hearings on changes to CSULB admission guidelines on Friday.

The hearing was held at the offices for Coast Community Colleges in Costa Mesa, next to the district’s Orange Coast College campus. Attendees were primarily representatives of CSULB, Coast Community Colleges (including Orange Coast College, Golden West College and Coastline Community College) and Cerritos College.

David Dowell, vice provost for planning and budget and director of strategic planning at CSULB, discussed the proposal.

Dowell said that of the local students admitted to CSULB under the Long Beach Promise, the bottom 10 percent of those students have a 24 percent college graduation rate. He proposed referring those students to Long Beach City College, allowing for a competitive admissionsprocess at CSULB in which more non-local students with a higher chance of completing a degree are admitted.

“We’re in the business of distributing a scarce resource,” Dowell said.

An additional point Dowell emphasized was adding major-specific criteria. Among community college students, this could require anywhere from two to eight required courses. For some students, this could just mean doing well in pre-existing general education courses related to their major.

Dowell also spoke of a change in defining transfer students as local based by their high school, not their community college.

A third potential change to CSULB admissions is the Beach Pathways program, which would admit a certain number of students based on holistic review. These students, although they may not have been considered due to GPA and test scores, would be considered on other indicators of likely success.

Although the proposed changes are designed for the 2013-14 school year, Dowell assured that the transition would be eased in and it would probably be three years before they fully take effect.

Bob Hughlett, secretary of the Board of Trustees at Cerritos College, voiced his concerns that in the last four years, the number of students transferring to CSULB from Cerritos College has dropped by 60 percent.

“Our pipeline has been severely and abruptly changed,” Hughlett said.

Dowell explained that a similar drop in admissions occurred among all transfer students due to cutbacks.

“The state of California doesn’t have the kind of money it used to have,” said Jim Moreno, president of the Coast Community College District. “We have a lot to get done with fewer dollars, so let’s try to do the best we can.”

The second public hearing will be on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the CSULB Barrett Athletic Administration Center (formerly the Pyramid Annex Conference Center). A third meeting will be held at the Long Beach City College Liberal Arts Campus on March 7 at 2 p.m.



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