University takes steps to discontinue campuswide impaction

SF State held its third and final required public hearing at the University library to discuss proposed admission changes and the discontinuation of the current campuswide impaction status for the fall 2018 semester.

The final hearing was held on Monday. The hearings have been held throughout the month of February, and have served as platforms to get the public’s input on the plans SF State has to eliminate its campuswide impaction status and improve the admission process.

Proposed admission changes would primarily affect first-time freshman and transfer students, especially those outside the six local counties currently given priority admission: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara. New guidelines would remove the priority admission that local students currently receive, and provide equal access to all California students eligible for California State University system admission.

Enrollment management interim assistant vice president and host of the public hearing Ree’shemah Thornton said the announcement of removing the campuswide impaction status has been met with positive reactions.

Patrice Mulholland, Office of International Programs assistant director, said discontinuing campuswide impaction gives international students more incentive to apply.

“I see people not as willing to apply,” Mulholland said about international students. “They want to make sure they can get in and get out.”

According to Thornton, enrollment rates dropped overall when the campus declared impaction in 2014, which created additional challenges and higher admission standards. Thornton said potential students are discouraged by the campuswide impaction status.

The University is anticipating that applications for first-time freshmen and new transfers for fall 2017 will be approximately 5 percent below the school’s application quota to reach the undergraduate enrollment capacity for California residents, according to data presented at the public hearing.

“Impaction doesn’t mean impossible,” Thornton said. “Student’s think they can’t get in and don’t even apply.”

Thornton said impaction status was implemented in 2014 to ensure students received authentic admittance and had access to the right amount of classes and instructors.

“The purpose of impaction wasn’t to be a barrier to students,” Thornton said.

Undergrad Admissions Director Edward Carrigan said impaction is a last resort in managing student population. Carrigan said that looking at curriculum for individual programs is the approach that needs to be taken.

“Majors need to be better structured so that people can get through the curriculum and not get stuck in bottleneck classes,” Carrigan said.

Carrigan said having the right amount of staff and classes offered is also an important factor in impacted majors. Each individual program is being reviewed to see if changes can be made to remove impaction from certain majors in addition to removing the campuswide impaction status, according to Carrigan.

As of now, a proposal has been submitted to remove the impaction status from the interior design major. Other impacted majors will remain under review.

The proposal must be approved by the Chancellor’s Office by April 1. If approved, campuswide impaction discontinuation and the changed admittance guidelines will be effective for the fall 2018 semester.

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