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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

City College launches Equity Transfer Initiative project, ‘Destination UC Davis’
Photo: Rosaria Natura (Rosaria Natura/[email protected])

City College and UC Davis were awarded a grant of $27,500 from the American Association of Community Colleges to help advance the transfer rates among African American, Hispanic and first-generation college students to four-year universities. 

AACC’s new Equity Transfer Initiative works to pair community colleges with four-year universities to increase the transfer rates of underrepresented student populations. 

“Transferring from one college to another is one of the most important — and difficult — transition points in many learners’ educational journeys,” said Carolynn Lee, the program officer at Ascendium Education Group (one of the organizations funding the grant), in the grant’s press release. “For learners from low income backgrounds, which disproportionately includes Black, Hispanic, first-generation and adult learners, it’s too often a moment of disrupted hopes and derailed educational goals.” 

The City College and UC Davis agreement is one of 13 partnerships across the United States that were approved for the grant in May 2021. 

“SCC and UC Davis are uniquely poised to provide a direct pipeline and partnership for transfer given the longstanding relationship between the two institutions, which includes the Sacramento City College Davis Center on the UC Davis campus,” said Kaitlyn Collignon, City College’s public information officer, in the grant’s UC Davis press release. 

With the grant, City College has created a program called “Destination UC Davis,” coordinated by Abraham Madrigal. 

During the program’s first stages of development, Madrigal works as a jack-of-all-trades to ensure everything runs smoothly. 

“I’m the coordinator and I’m the counselor for the program,” Madrigal said. “So I do all the clerical work, I do all the counseling, mapping, even marketing, even messaging students.”

Destination UC Davis provides underrepresented students with access to academic and transfer counselors, tutors and admissions counselors from UC Davis. The program also works to put students on a pathway toward a successful transfer to a four-year university and graduating with a bachelor’s degree. 

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There are five major pathways recommended to students as part of this program. These pathways include a variety of majors and detailed road maps of how to navigate toward obtaining a degree for each major. The majors include biological sciences, economics, engineering, communication and psychology. 

The roadmaps lay out the exact classes needed in order to earn a degree in each major. 

A primary goal of Destination UC Davis is to reach students as soon as they start at City College to ensure they are able to transfer within two years. Once a student joins the program, they will have access to academic counselors throughout their time at City College, assistance applying to UC Davis and guidance in preparing for another successful two years at the four-year university. 

Madrigal would eventually like to have resources in place to offer continuing assistance for students after transferring from City College to UC Davis, but he says that this is still a work in progress. 

“We have a great relationship with UC Davis, specifically with their representatives,” he said. “However, that other phase of getting students through the four-year [university] is out of my control. I can only help them from making sure their classes are ready, making sure their ISEP [Individual Student Educational Plan] is ready, picking out their classes, making sure they transfer once they leave [City College] and ensuring that UC Davis picks them up. That’s where we’re in the works right now, trying to figure that out. So they can get their bachelor’s in four years, two here and two over there.”

The most immediate goal is to support students throughout the application process for fall of 2022, which has a deadline of Nov. 30. 

“Right now [we are] trying to get those students aware of the application process and making sure students are doing it right,” Madrigal said. “When you apply to a UC, you have to do personal insight questions. So I work with students filling those questions out, and I also refer them to the writing center.” 

The ultimate goal of Destination UC Davis is to triple the number of student transfers within the underrepresented populations it serves. 

“Primarily, our goal is to increase the number of African American, Latino students and first-generation college students to transfer,” Madrigal said. “Our goal is to increase them by the first year to 100 [transfer students], and then by the second year of the grant increase them to 200. … Right now, the numbers are about 30-35 [yearly transfer students] of these demographics. Our goal is to triple that number.”

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