Cal State Universities are reducing enrollment for first-time freshmen and transfer students because of high enrollment rates. CSU Northridge is one of the last campuses to adopt the new standard.
By John Olivares
Cal State Northridge officials are planning to reduce enrollment by 300 students, or 1 percent, for the next four years, impacting undergraduate programs beginning fall of 2016.
The school is looking to achieve this goal by raising admission standards for high school graduates and transfer students outside the local area.
Psychology, kinesiology, music and cinema and television arts are among the majors with new entrance requirements under these changes.
The university reviewed data to determine which majors were in highest demand.
“Due to the repercussions of the state budget crisis, CSUN is being forced to make hard decisions,” said Carmen Chandler, CSUN’s director
of media relations.
Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach and Cal State San Marcos have implemented similar changes, along with 14 other CSUs.
Impaction means a campus has reached the full capacity of students in relation to the amount of resources available.
CSU Bakersfield, CSU Channel Islands, CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU East Bay are among the few schools that are currently not impacted for first-time freshmen or transfer students.
“Cal State Northridge has decided to move towards the impaction method as a last choice because they want to serve the students in the area and region who have demonstrated they are ready for college,” said Eric Forbes, Cal State assistant vice chancellor for student academic services.
This is the final CSU campus to select impaction for transfer students, Forbes said.
The CSUN plan would also create a new local admissions geographic area for transfer students that includes 17 regional community colleges. Santa Ana was not in the CSUN geographic map.
This would shrink the geographic area designated for freshmen, eliminating the South Pasadena and Alhambra Unified School Districts, high schools in Ventura County and the east region of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
CSUs want to make sure there are sufficient resources available for students to complete their degree in a timely manner, Forbes said.
Students within the area would need to meet basic admissions requirements such as a 2.0 GPA, 60 transferable units and the completion of the “golden four” courses including math, writing, speech and critical thinking.
Applicants outside the area would need a higher GPA, along with the basic admissions requirements and could be admitted only as space becomes available.
Seven students were admitted to CSUN from Santa Ana College in 2014, with 676 students transferring to Cal State campuses, Martha Vargas, Santa Ana College counseling coordinator, said.
“Students must prepare better than ever before in their transfer journey in order to understand the GPA and transfer requirements,” Vargas said.
At this point, the GPA increase for SAC transfers is unknown.
If a student has an associates degree transfer, then it gives them a .1 boost in their GPA to a local school, or a .2 boost if the school is not local or impacted, Vargas said.
The first out-of-state articulation agreement for Santa Ana College’s international business program was signed in February.
Global Entrepreneurship students can now transfer with a junior standing into the University of Northern Iowa. The SAC department has a similar arrangement with Cal Poly Pomona.
“The faculty gave me encouragement, pushed me to go for it and they were available outside of class. It’s not just academic support, it’s moral and personal support too,” said international business major Minhchau Chau, who was accepted in March.
SAC students working towards bachelor degrees at UNI are eligible for an 18 percent reduced tuition rate, as well as transfer and multicultural scholarships, which can add up to 10,000 a year.
The articulation agreement with UNI is expected to expand to Business Administration, Management and Accounting students, said Madeline Grant, interim dean of the business division.
The global entrepreneurship department is finalizing a similar deal with Cal State Fullerton. Other universities in discussion for a similar agreement are Boise State and Michigan University.