45 years after opening, UCSC prepares for newest class

Nearly 45 percent of incoming freshmen are 'first in family' college students

Welcome poster for 2010-11 yearForty-five years after its inaugural opening in fall 1965, the University of California, Santa Cruz is making final preparations for the 2010-11 academic year.

An estimated 4,525 new undergraduate students are expected when classes begin on Thursday, September 23. Most will move into university housing during the five-day fall-quarter "move-in" that takes place through Sunday, September 19. UCSC is also expecting approximately 400 new graduate students on campus.

The following facts and figures describe this year's new students and the campus that is preparing for their arrival and a new academic year:

Number of 'first in family' students jumps:

Freshman classes continue to become more ethnically diverse at UCSC. And a significantly larger number of this year's freshmen are in position to become the "first in their families to earn a four-year degree," says Michelle Whittingham, UCSC's associate vice chancellor of enrollment management and director of admissions. These "first generation" freshmen are expected to make up nearly 44 percent of the class, compared to 37 percent just a year ago.

Nearly 29 percent of the freshman class is comprised of students from ethnic backgrounds that have been underrepresented within the UC system. The 28.7 percent is a jump from last fall's 24.9 percent. This fall's freshman class is also expected to comprise 27.9 percent students who are Asian American. Nearly 38 percent (37.5) of the students identified themselves as White/Caucasian, and 5.2 percent declined to report an ethnicity.

2010-11 projected enrollment:

Enrollment for the fall quarter will not be known until after the third week of classes. But the three-quarter average enrollment for the 2010-11 academic year is projected to be 16,730 — 400 more students than were enrolled on campus in the 2009-10 academic year.

Of the expected 4,525 new undergraduate students, 3,275 will be new freshman and 1,250 new transfer students; the vast majority of transfer students are coming from California's community colleges.

New academic programs:

The following new degree programs will enroll their first students this fall:
• Jewish Studies: bachelor of arts
• Cognitive Science: bachelor of science
• Film and Digital Media: doctorate program
• Visual Studies: doctorate program

Construction completed by start of fall quarter:

• Porter College dormitory expansion and renovation:
Work on Porter College House A, a 4-story residential dormitory, has added 177 bed spaces to the campus housing inventory. Two new floors are providing 159 new bed spaces, and renovations and adjustments on lower floors provided another 18 new bed spaces. The project also included seismic upgrades. This project is on track to achieve LEED certification, along with Porter College House B and the Dining Commons. The dormitory is home to a new housing community for approximately 500 incoming transfer students. 

• Cowell Student Health Center expansion and renovation:
The Health Center project added a 7,600-square-foot wing to the Health Center and renovated the existing facility for Student Health Services and Counseling and Psychological Services.  The project also addressed seismic and accessibility needs.  The recently completed project is designed to achieve an equivalent of a LEED certified rating and/or outperform the provisions of the California Energy Code's energy-efficiency standards.

Also new this fall:

• The Oakes Science Community is one of several new theme housing options available at the colleges. Others include the Writer's House at Kresge College, Rosa Parks African American House at Stevenson College, and Indigenous Peoples Hall at Merrill College. Theme housing provides students an opportunity to live in close community with others who share a common interest.

UCSC in the news:

The new academic year will begin with UCSC people having received numerous accolades in recent months:

• With Chancellor George Blumenthal in attendance, UCSC astronomer Jerry Nelson received the Kavli Prize in Astrophysics at a ceremony September 7 in Oslo, Norway.

• Also this summer, UCSC placed 11th in the Sierra Club magazine's annual "green" honor roll of the coolest colleges in the nation. The Princeton Review selected UCSC as part of its Green Honor Roll Colleges.

• Further on the sustainability front, UCSC received the prestigious Acterra 2010 Business Environmental Award for campus programs that prevent pollution and conserve resources. The award was presented to the campus during a ceremony this summer in Palo Alto.

• As the last academic year was concluding, UCSC faculty were named to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the California Academy of Sciences.

• Six UC Santa Cruz students – five in anthropology,  one in environmental studies – were just awarded Fulbright scholarships for a year's study and research abroad.

Move-in schedule:

• For detailed information about move-in activities, which continue through Sunday, September 19, please go to: http://housing.ucsc.edu/move-in/

'Welcome Week' activities:

• A large number of activities are planned to welcome new students to campus, as well as welcome back returning students. Sessions include tours of the library and other campus resources, as well as academic advising.

• For more information, go to: https://admissions.sa.ucsc.edu/fallwelcomeweek/agenda.cfm