Foothill opens doors for fall quarter | September 23, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - September 23, 2011

Foothill opens doors for fall quarter

Interest in 'transfer admission guarantee' program is up, officials say

by Chris Kenrick

Foothill College is still registering new students for fall classes, which begin Monday.

Though many core classes are full, some availability remains in math, social studies, and arts and sciences, college officials said.

Foothill anticipates a fall enrollment of 16,500, with about a quarter of those aged 19 and under and apparently coming straight from high school.

Between 13 percent and 18 percent of Gunn and Palo Alto high school graduates enter community college after graduation each year, according to figures supplied by the Foothill-De Anza Community College District.

The high schools themselves publish somewhat lower percentages. Gunn said 13.7 percent of its Class of 2010 indicated they planned to attend two-year colleges, and Paly published a figure of 9.2 percent.

Nearly twice as many students as a year ago have expressed interest in Foothill's Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program, officials said. The program enables students to contract with various four-year institutions for guaranteed admission, conditional on their maintaining a certain Foothill GPA.

"We are seeing very strong interest in university transfer," Foothill Associate Vice-President Kurt Hueg said.

Foothill has transfer agreements with 19 institutions, including University of California campuses at Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz. Several California State University campuses also participate in Foothill's transfer guarantee program as do several private institutions, including Santa Clara University, the University of San Francisco, University of the Pacific and the Cornell University School of Environmental Engineering.

Overall, a growing percentage of students appear to be interested in earning an associate's degree or transferring to a four-year institution, he said. Those reporting such an interest went from 47 percent last fall to 56 percent this year.

Hueg said about half of Foothill's fall enrollees have a high school diploma as their highest education but did not necessarily enroll directly from high school.

Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at


Posted by Stop Stressing Students , a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm

So what is the point of making it a requirement for graduation to complete A-g, if not everyone is planning to attend UC's? It is just another way to add more stress on the lives of our children. PAUSD has to get it, not everyone wants to go to UC's, and they should not be forced to meet the A-G requirements. Students are already under enough stress, and they do not need more.

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm

It is interesting the difference between in the reporting of the percentage of students attending Foothill by PAUSD vs Foothill. Of course, attending a CC is a "failure" in Palo Alto, so as few kids as possible want to admit to it. Those who have financial constraints can say they are attending a CC, but a kid whose family is perceived to easily be able to afford a 4 year school can't say they are attending a CC or they will be perceived as a "slacker" (and I'm quoting Paly parents on both the "failure" and the "slacker" labels.)

What I found after all the kids reported where they are going (published to the whole school by Paly at least), many change their minds and decide they are not ready to leave home.

Our school district would do well to promote attending a CC as a positive alternative.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm

I am not sure that there is a foolproof way that the high schools record where the graduates continue their education.

There used to be a published list in the Weekly, but that was compiled by what the students claimed and there was no guarantee that they were truthfull. That practice was discontinued by the Weekly because there was no way to verify the claims and also to prevent those who were planning to attend a CC or not attend college at all to feel like failures.

A comprehensive list should never be made public, but perhaps numbers could be given. But how this list is compiled by the high schools and how they can be sure it is accurate is an interesting question.

However, Foothills should know which high school their students attended and it should be much easier for them to verify the information causing it to be more accurate. I would therefore trust the Foothill numbers rather than the high schools' numbers.

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