By Christine Clark
LA JOLLA–Attracting underrepresented students to the University of California has been more difficult since the passage of Proposition 209 which outlawed ethnicity based admissions policies. UC campuses, including UC San Diego, have introduced new admissions programs to encourage first-generation and low-income students to enroll.
“These initiatives encourage prospective students to discover the exceptional opportunities for the world-class educational experience that UC San Diego offers,” said Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. “These news programs, in addition to our existing efforts, will help to ensure a more diverse student body and healthier campus climate.”
This spring, UC San Diego will embrace enhanced yield initiatives – programs that encourage students to accept their admittance to UC San Diego – along with existing programs. An early calling campaign involving students, faculty, staff and alumni; overnight programs; and affinity group receptions are just a sampling of the efforts to help increase the diversity of the undergraduate student body. “Our existing yield efforts have progressed because they are part of a planned, strategic process,” said assistant vice chancellor of admissions, Mae Brown. “The first step is to get underrepresented, low-income and first generation students to apply and the second step is to get admitted students to accept.”
Data for UC San Diego freshman applications of underrepresented students for fall 2010 show a 8.8 percent increase. A total 1,968 African-Americans (up 20.6 percent), 8,269 Latino and Mexican Americans (up 5.8 percent) and 324 Native Americans (up 25.1 percent) applied for the university’s fall 2010 quarter.
Brown added that UC San Diego has in the past and will continue, to offer admission to a broadly diverse pool of well-qualified and talented applicants. “After affirmative action was repealed, UC San Diego and other UCs sought new ways to attract and encourage a more diverse student population without relying on race,” Brown said. “In addition to our policies that weigh students’ personal circumstances, we are piloting a new review system for a small number of students from disadvantaged schools.”
UC San Diego yield initiatives underway include the following new and existing programs:
Early Calling Campaign — This special campus-wide calling campaign will notify admitted students from traditionally underrepresented student populations and encourage their acceptance.
Black Student Union (BSU) Overnight Program– In a calling campaign conducted by BSU students, admitted African American students will be invited to the first UC San Diego Black Student Union Overnight Program. This is open to all students and explores the student experience of African Americans at UC San Diego.
Student Promoted Access Center for Education & Services (SPACES) Overnight Program– A calling campaign conducted by current students invites admitted students from traditionally underrepresented student populations to the spring overnight program.
Affinity Group Sessions– These welcome Sessions invite admitted African American, Chicano and Native American students and their families to visit the campus to meet with faculty, staff and alumni and learn what it is like attending UC San Diego.
These efforts to increase admission build upon UC San Diego’s ongoing outreach efforts which target first-generation and low income students:
The Preuss School – Located on the UC San Diego campus, this charter middle and high school is dedicated to providing a rigorous college preparatory education for motivated low-income students who will become the first in their families to graduate from college.
An Evening with UC San Diego – At these outreach program events offered in the local community, Chancellor Marye Anne Fox addresses topics relating to access to UC San Diego, particularly in school districts possessing racially diverse student populations.
TRIO Outreach Program – The purpose of the program is to reach out to those schools and areas in San Diego that lack vital information, resources and college preparation materials.
Early Academic Outreach Program – EAOP at UCSD is one of nine such programs administered system-wide by the UC Office of the President to increase the number of low-income and ethnically underrepresented students on UC campuses.
Admissions Officer Visits – Admissions officers from UC San Diego visit all community colleges in San Diego and Imperial County in the fall and spring. They also visit all local high schools in San Diego County every fall before the Nov. 1 deadline to apply to the University of California.