Community College to Four-Year College Pathway for Statistics and Data Science Students

Curricular example from the University of California System

for professors
for students

May 22, 2024

In this short blog post I want to share a resource that can be helpful for community college students in California (and beyond) and their instructors in supporting students to transfer to four-year colleges. Through my work as Vice Chair of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Statistics at University of California Irvine, from time to time I get to work with community college instructors. One of the questions I get asked frequently from instructors is what courses they should offer, especially when preparing students to transfer to four-year data science programs.

Ever since I started to teach in California, I have truly been impressed by the California community college system. Apparently “with 2 million students at 116 colleges, the California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the country” 1. In addition, a significant proportion of students in our data science program are transfer students. The community college to four-year college pipeline is an important one especially given that “70% of California community colleges students are people of diverse ethnic backgrounds” 2. Community college to four-year college pipeline can contribute to “Broadening Participation in STEM” which is a goal of the U.S. National Science Foundation3. On a more personal level, having worked closely with many community college students and instructors, I find their contributions extremely valuable.

Recently with support of campus representatives, University of California Academic Council Special Committee on Transfer Issues prepared a document to provide an overview of Transfer preparation for data science & statistics majors at the University of California. This can be helpful for students who are looking to transfer to the UC system and their instructors who can guide them. This can also be helpful for data science educators outside of California in understanding the data science (transfer) curricula in the UC system as an example should there be a need.

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