Community college students from Cypress, Fullerton, Saddleback, and Santa Ana colleges visited UCI to learn about the TAG (Transfer Admission Guarantee) program for community college students transferring to UCI's CalTeach Science and Math program to complete their bachelor's degree. The CalTeach program offers undergraduates a unique opportunity to earn a STEM degree in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Mathematics, or Physics plus a California Teaching Credential in four years.
Following tours of the UCI campus and the UCI Transfer Center, the students were welcomed by Dean Ken Janda (School of Biological Science) and Dean Richard Arum (School of Education). Master Teachers Kris Houston (Mathematics) and Therese Shanahan (Science) and Program Coordinator Martha Martinez discussed program requirements, with Ms. Martinez volunteering to review individual transcripts and discuss program completion options at each of the participating community colleges.
Current CalTeach students Shantel Lopez (Mathematics) and Donovan Dragon (Biology Education) answered questions about student experiences in the program. Both expressed appreciation for the personal benefits they were receiving from experienced mentorship, a supportive environment, and diverse experiences student teaching in elementary, middle, and high school grades.
Of particular interest to the visiting students was the cross-enrollment option that allows current community college students to enroll in two preparatory UCI courses while still attending community college.
The Bridge Program visit concluded with information about financial aid options and a tour of the CalTeach offices and student workrooms.