UC Temporarily Adjusts Admissions Requirements to Help Students, Families in Wake of COVID-19

Posted in The University of California Press Room.

The University of California acted last night (March 31) to implement temporary measures which relax undergraduate admissions requirements for students looking to enroll at UC for fall 2020 and future years as applicable. These measures will help mitigate some of the extraordinary challenges students and their families face in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to help alleviate the tremendous disruption and anxiety that is already overwhelming prospective students due to COVID-19,” said John A. Pérez, chair of the Board of Regents, the governing board for UC. “By removing artificial barriers and decreasing stressors – including suspending the use of the SAT – for this unprecedented moment in time, we hope there will be less worry for our future students.”

“The COVID-19 outbreak is a disaster of historic proportions disrupting every aspect of our lives,
including education for high school students, among others,” said University of California President Janet Napolitano, who endorsed the changes. “The University’s flexibility at this crucial time will ensure prospective students aiming for UC get a full and fair shot — no matter their current challenges.”

The global health crisis has forced the closure of high schools across the country and prompted sudden shifts to remote instruction. Some schools adopted “pass/fail” or “credit/no credit” grading instead of letter grades for A-G courses needed to qualify for UC admission. These measures had the potential to adversely affect not only the incoming freshman class, but all high school students seeking a UC education, making it challenging to meet University requirements. Meanwhile, K-12 standardized testing and college entrance exams have been cancelled, further thwarting student progress.



CSU Campuses to Continue with Predominantly Virtual Instruction

Posted in The California State University News.

​​​​​​For the academic term beginning January 2021, all 23 California State University (CSU) campuses will continue with coursework primarily delivered virtually, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White announced in a message to the university community today.

“After extensive consultation with campus presidents and other stakeholders, and careful consideration of a multitude of factors – regarding the pandemic and its consequences, as well as other matters impacting the university and its operations – I am announcing that the CSU will continue with this primarily virtual instructional approach for the academic term that begins in January 2021, and also will continue with reduced populations in campus housing,” said White. “This decision is the only responsible one available to us at this time. And it is the only one that supports our twin North Stars of safeguarding the health, safety and well-being of our faculty, staff, students and communities, as well as enabling degree progression for the largest number of students.”​

The desire to give students and their families appropriate time to plan, the need to publish and promote course offerings in campus academic plans, and accreditation requirements for courses delivered virtually were cited by White as three primary reasons for the timing for the announcement.

In the coming weeks, campuses will publish their lists of course offerings allowing students to select courses and then campuses can appropriately allocate resources to meet student demand.

Additionally, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission, the accrediting body for all CSU campuses, requires each campus to seek authorization for courses currently approved for on-site instruction to be offered in distance learning modalities. In order to meet this requirement, campuses will need to commit to their January academic schedules in September and October. The requirement was temporarily waived by the Department of Education for fall 2020; however, the waiver will expire at the end of December and will not be renewed.  

All CSU campuses crafted detailed plans to address repopulation for the fall term and will continue to follow the protocols established in these plans for the academic terms beginning in January 2021. This will allow the flexibility to potentially offer additional in-person coursework should the situation in the campus’ respective region warrant that or, conversely, to further limit such offerings as needed. Campus plans vary depending on factors such student enrollment, programmatic offerings and facilities and comport with local, state and federal guidance.

Campuses will develop and communicate their commencement plans during the course of the academic term beginning in January.