Regents Issue Fall Guidance, Suspend ACT/SAT Criteria

The UC Board of Regents last week issued guidance for the reopening of university campuses and made a decision to suspend until fall 2024 the use of the standardized test requirement for freshman applicants.


Fall guidance

“Let me be very clear that every campus will be open and offering instruction so that all UC students can continue to make progress toward earning their degree,” UC President Janet Napolitano told the Board of Regents on May 20. “The question will be, ‘How much of that instruction will be in-person versus how much is done remotely?’”

All UC campuses are actively engaged in scenario planning for the fall term, and decisions could come by mid-June, she said.

“The safety and well-being of our campus community is our first priority, and these decisions must be made in the context of local, state and federal public health restrictions,” Napolitano said. “I anticipate that most of, if not all of, our campuses will operate in some kind of hybrid mode.”

To further guide campuses in their decisions, the Board of Regents adopted the “Principles for Responsible Operation of University Locations in Light of the SARS-COV-2 Pandemic.

Napolitano recommended the principles to provide a unified set of standards for the entire UC system.

“Every location will need to meet these systemwide threshold criteria before ramping up campus operations,” Napolitano said.

The standards include a testing plan, a contact tracing plan, and a quarantine and isolation plan. Once they have satisfied these standards, campuses can consider how to best approach their comprehensive plans for the fall.

Campuses will also be expected to have plans in place for physical distancing and other public health protocols, such as wearing face masks, and be ready to make rapid adjustments to campus operations if public health conditions warrant the change.

Read more on UCs principles for the fall term.

Test replacement sought

The regents also last week unanimously approved the suspension of the standardized test requirement (ACT/SAT) for all California freshman applicants until fall 2024. The suspension will allow the University to create a new test that better aligns with the content the university expects students to have mastered for college readiness. However, if a new test does not meet specified criteria in time for fall 2025 admission, UC will eliminate the standardized testing requirement for California students.

“Today’s decision by the board marks a significant change for the University’s undergraduate admissions,” Napolitano said. “We are removing the ACT/SAT requirement for California students and developing a new test that more closely aligns with what we expect incoming students to know to demonstrate their preparedness for UC.”

“I think this is an incredible step in the right direction toward aligning our admissions policy with the broad-based values of the University,” Board of Regents Chair John A. Pérez said before the vote. “I see our role as fiduciaries and stewards of the public good and this proposal before us is an incredible step in the right direction.”

The following outlines the regents’ actions:

  • Test-optional for fall 2021 and fall 2022 — Campuses will have the option to use ACT/SAT test scores in selection consideration if applicants choose to submit them, and will develop appropriate policies and procedures to implement the Board’s decision.
  • Test-blind for fall 2023 and fall 2024 — Campuses will not consider test scores for California public and independent high school applicants in admissions selection, a practice known as “test-blind” admissions. Test scores could still be considered for other purposes such as course placement, certain scholarships and eligibility for the statewide admissions guarantee.
  • New standardized test — Starting in summer 2020 and ending by January 2021, UC will undertake a process to identify or create a new test that aligns with the content UC expects students to have mastered to demonstrate college readiness for California freshmen.
  • Elimination of the ACT/SAT test requirement — By 2025, any use of the ACT/SAT would be eliminated for California students and a new UC-endorsed test to measure UC-readiness would be required. However, if by 2025 the new test is either unfeasible or not ready, consideration of the ACT/SAT for freshman admissions would still be eliminated for California students.
  • Elimination of writing test — The university will eliminate altogether the SAT Essay/ACT Writing Test as a requirement for UC undergraduate admissions, and these scores will not be used at all effective for fall 2021 admissions.

Read more on the regents’ action on standardized testing.

Follow Dateline UC Davis on Twitter.

Primary Category

Secondary Categories