Welcoming new students for fall 2011

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

UC Santa Cruz students are scheduled to begin moving into university housing on Wednesday, September 14, in anticipation of the 2011-12 school year. The first day of instruction in the fall quarter is Thursday, September 22. The fall-quarter "move-in" for students living on campus is scheduled to continue through Sunday, September 21.

Here are some facts and figures about this year's new students, new programs the campus is offering, and new buildings that are either under construction or ready to occupy.

Number of 'first in family' freshmen continues to rise:

An estimated 4,900 new undergraduate students are expected when classes begin on Thursday, September 22. UCSC is also expecting approximately 375 new graduate students on campus. In all, approximately 5,275 new students are expected to enroll.

Of the expected 4,900 new undergraduate students, 3,650 will be new freshman and 1,250 new transfer students; nearly 96 percent of transfer students are coming from California's community colleges, with the largest number (132) coming from Cabrillo College.

Incoming freshman continue to be more ethnically diverse at UCSC. And a 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 more than 45 percent of the class — the most ever, she says.

One third of the freshman class is comprised of students from ethnic backgrounds that have been underrepresented within the UC system. The 33.3 percent is a jump from last fall's 28.9 percent. This fall's freshman class is also expected to comprise 25.1 percent students who are Asian American. Approximately 35 percent of the students identified themselves as White/Caucasian;another 1.1 percent of incoming freshmen declined to report an ethnicity.

2011-12 projected enrollment and new academic programs:

The three-quarter average enrollment for the 2011-12 academic year is projected to be 16,280. "Official enrollment for the fall quarter will not be known until after the third week of classes," Whittingham says. "In the end, we expect that our 2011-12 enrollment will be about the same as it was last year."

The following new degree programs will enroll their first students this fall:

Robotics Engineering: bachelor of science

Network and Digital Technology: bachelor of arts

'Welcome Week' activities and 'move-in' schedule:

• A large number of Welcome Week 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: admissions.ucsc.edu/orientation/agenda.html

• For more information about the 'move-in' schedule, please go to: housing.ucsc.edu/move-in/

Major construction completed by or continuing in the fall quarter:

• McHenry Library: With its redwood views and terraced gardens, McHenry Library is a gorgeous place to cram for exams. Ten years in the making, the just-completed renovation project — with the new addition — will allow the library to house a growing collection of print and electronic materials and offer more comprehensive electronic resources for students. The campus has chosen Hoffman's Bistro and Patisserie to operate the upcoming Global Village Cafe in the lobby.

• Biomedical Sciences Facility: On Science Hill, construction continues on the campus's Biomedical Sciences Facility, set for completion early in the next calendar year. The building will provide 92,000 square feet of laboratory space and facilities to support health and medical research. It will be used by students, faculty, and researchers in the departments of molecular, cell and developmental biology; chemistry and biochemistry; microbiology and environmental toxicology; and biomolecular engineering.

UCSC in the news:

The new academic year will begin on the heels of numerous achievements involving UCSC people recently:

• UC Santa Cruz announced in August that the campus had received a gift of $500,000 to establish the George P. Hitchcock Modern Poetry Fund at Porter College. A renowned publisher, poet, painter, and UCSC lecturer emeritus in creative writing, Hitchcock died a year earlier at the age of 96.

• Also this summer, UCSC placed 7th in the Sierra Club magazine's annual "green" honor roll of the coolest colleges in the nation.

• The California Academy of Sciences in August awarded its highest honor, the Fellows' Medal, to UCSC faculty member John Pearse. This award is given to especially prominent scientists who have made outstanding contributions to their scientific fields.

• UC Santa Cruz sociology professor Andrew Szasz is the 2011 recipient of the Frederick Buttel Distinguished Contribution Award of the Environment, Technology, and Society section of the American Sociological Association, the highest honor bestowed in American environmental sociology.

• A team of UCSC researchers contributed to an analysis of genomic changes in ovarian cancer, providing the most comprehensive and integrated view of cancer genes for any cancer type to date.

Leo Chiang, a lecturer in the Social Documentation Program, and Ken McLaughlin, a lecturer in the Science Communication Program, have been nominated for Emmy Awards for their filmmaking and reporting, respectively. A profile of astronomer Sandra Faber on public television station KTEH was also honored with a Northern California Area Emmy Award.

• UCSC alumna and Pulitzer Prize winner Dana Priest was interviewed on National Public Radio's "Fresh Air" about her book Top Secret America, which looks at the top-secret intelligence and counterterrorism network created after September 11.