University of California President Janet Napolitano today (Sept. 13) announced the formation of a task force that will review how UC’s nine undergraduate campuses verify academic credentials, such as grades and test scores, that admitted students provide before enrollment.
The Admissions Verification Task Force will evaluate current procedures and recommend policies and best practices in order to standardize and make UC’s academic verification process more effective, efficient and student-friendly.
The review comes in the wake of problems with the verification process at UC Irvine that led to the rescission of a number of admission offers. The campus, which has publicly apologized, has since resolved those problems.
Each summer, UC campuses verify the academic accomplishments of admitted students to ensure they have met all the conditions of their admission to UC. Campuses typically request official high school or community college transcripts, as well as official test scores from testing agencies.
These documents are used to verify that students have earned a high school diploma, completed all necessary “a-g” courses, maintained at least a C average in their senior year of high school, and in the case of transfer students, completed pre-major requirements for transfer at the junior level.
“As a public institution, the University of California has an obligation to maintain the integrity of its admissions process by verifying the credentials of the students we admit,” Napolitano said. “We are also committed to ensuring that all admitted students are afforded every opportunity to supply the necessary documentation to validate their academic credentials. I expect the task force’s recommendations will help us strike just the right balance between our responsibility to verify and the need to serve as advocates for our students.”
In developing its recommendations to make UC’s admission verification process more efficient and responsive to UC students, the task force will:
- Consider the effectiveness and timeliness of communications to admitted students regarding the verification of official transcripts, test scores and other documents, as well as the appeals process;
- Review whether the number and type of solicited documents can be reduced or provided in other, more effective ways;
- Review the extent to which UC’s need for transcript and test score information is aligned effectively with the ability of K-12 schools, community colleges and testing organizations to generate this information;
- Assess the needs of the campuses to maintain the academic integrity of the admissions process;
- Consider the adequacy of the appeals process at each campus; and
- Recommend practices that may better serve students and the institution in verifying the academic qualifications of admitted students.
The task force will complete its review and present its findings and recommendations in a report to the president that will be presented at the November 2017 meeting of the Board of Regents.
Provost and Executive Vice President Michael Brown will chair the task force, whose members will include representatives from campuses, the Academic Senate, the student body and the Office of the President.