California State University, Northridge officials announced plans to change its admissions criteria through the limited use of academic, freshman and transfer-level impaction for undergraduate programs beginning in fall 2016. Four public hearings on the proposal have been scheduled for next month to seek community input and comment.
While CSUN is seeking full-program impaction, university officials plan to implement impaction as minimally as possible to meet state and CSU admissions targets.
“CSUN remains committed to serving our region and serving our community with the highest-quality educational opportunities,” CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison said. “We are seeking to use impaction as an enrollment management tool carefully and judiciously.”
The CSU has struggled in recent years to meet an ever-increasing demand for enrollment at its campuses. Declaring “impaction” is one way to manage that demand. Enrollment at CSUN has grown significantly in the past five years alone. In fall 2009, the university’s enrollment was 35,198. In fall 2014, CSUN had more than 40,000 graduate and undergraduate students enrolled, an all-time high for the campus. CSUN’s new enrollment targets will aim to reduce CSUN’s undergraduate enrollment by 1 percent, approximately 300 students, each year for the next four years. Graduate enrollment is not affected by impaction.
“With the goal of a 1 percent reduction in the entering undergraduate student class, CSUN will continue providing access to most students throughout our area,” said Harry Hellenbrand, CSUN provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We will also work closely with our sister CSU campuses to ensure impacted students have options to pursue their bachelor’s degrees close to home.”
A campus or academic major becomes “impacted” when the number of fully qualified students exceeds the number of available spaces. Declaring a major impacted allows CSUN, which otherwise would have accepted all qualified applicants, to limit its admissions. In addition to full academic program impaction, CSUN proposes program impaction for four academic majors: psychology, kinesiology, music, and cinema and television arts.
CSUN officials are proposing an impaction plan for transfer students that would designate a “local area,” which would restrict admission to the university to qualified students attending 17 regional community colleges. Applicants outside this “local area” would be admitted on the basis of space availability and would have to meet a higher GPA requirement. Applicants from outside the local area who have completed SB 1440 transfer degree requirements would be given special consideration. SB 1440 guarantees community college students, who obtain associate degrees tailored to a specific major, admissions to a CSU campus.
CSUN also is proposing to change its local admissions area for first-time freshmen, eliminating high schools currently in the Los Angeles Unified School District’s East Educational Service Center, which includes downtown and East Los Angeles; South Pasadena Unified School District; Alhambra Unified School District, and Ventura County. These districts and areas are also served by CSU-Los Angeles, CSU-Dominguez Hills and CSU-Channel Islands. Students from Ventura and Santa Barbara counties who seek majors that are offered at CSUN and not their local CSU, which is CSU-Channel Islands, will be treated as local students for admissions purposes.
CSUN would allow up to 5 percent of its enrolled new student class to be comprised of students who do not meet the applicable CSUN impaction threshold but do meet the CSU eligibility threshold. This would allow the campus to admit a limited number of CSU-eligible students with promise or talent who would otherwise be denied based on impaction criteria.
Four public hearings have been scheduled to discuss the proposal:
Thursday, March 5, from 6 to 7 p.m. at CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge.
Monday, March 9, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Glendale Community College, 1500 N. Verdugo Rd., Glendale.
Tuesday, March 10, from 6 to 7 p.m., Location to be determined.
Wednesday, March 11, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Moorpark College, 7075 Campus Rd., Moorpark.
More information about the hearings and the proposed changes can be found at www.csun.edu/impaction.