At the beginning of the Winter 2019 quarter, the Student Voice Committee (SVC) conducted a survey regarding UCR student interest in transferring or leaving UCR; 281 student responses highlighted an interest in leaving or transferring out of UCR.
According to the Student Voice Committee Chair Denis Turan, the Student Voice Committee sought a total of 392 student responses in order to reflect the entire school population with a 95 percent confidence interval, but they did not reach that number with this study. For a student’s response to be included in the survey, the student had to indicate interest in transferring or leaving UCR. If a student never had interest in transferring or leaving UCR, they were not included in the survey.
The survey was broken down by several different factors: 58 percent of the responses came from Asian (non-Hispanic) students and Hispanic or Latino students; in terms of class standing, the majority of the responses came from first year and second year students totaling to 60 percent. Also, CHASS and CNASS students combined for 76.8 percent of the responses; first generation students had less responses compared to non-first generation students at 45.6 percent.
In terms of reasons for leaving UCR, students were asked to rate their responses “zero” to “five.” If students were compelled by a certain reason, they would select “four” or “five.” However, if a student did not feel strongly about a certain issue or reason, then they would either answer with a “zero,” “one” or “two” response.
The reason that generated the most “four” or “five” responses was a disinterest in the city of Riverside, which eighty-two students responded with. Other top reasons included a lack of prestige, internship and job opportunities, cost of living and school major choices.
In an interview with the Highlander, first-year student Chelsea Po stated that she plans on applying to UC San Diego, claiming that,“They have a better pre-med program and I want to go to medical school. That’s the reason I want to transfer.” Another first-year student, Shray Grover, pointed to a lack of school spirit compared to USC and UCLA, stating that, “UCR does not have as much school spirit as I think other schools such as UCLA or USC would have.”
Former UCR student Steven Silva stated in an interview with the Highlander that he wished to switch his major but faced some challenges that prompted him to transfer. Silva was originally a political science major, but decided to switch to engineering.
However, Silva claimed that the engineering counselors informed him that switching his major would make him have to stay at UCR for another five years. Silva added, “Even if I dropped out and came back to UCR, they would have not allowed me to complete an engineering degree.” Silva left to community college and is now currently at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Despite students’ past or present interest in leaving UCR, 44.1 percent of students do not intend to leave or transfer out of UCR. On the other hand, 28.8 percent of students responded with “maybe,’ while 27 percent of students plan to leave or transfer out of UCR.
ASUCR Transfer Director Vanessa Salinas claimed that the students she has talked to expressed concern over not getting the classes that they need. In the interview, Salinas believes that an “inreach coordinator” could help students with their time at UCR. “I know that there are programs to help students. It’s tough to attend all of these different workshops because students have work, family, different obligations as well as their course work,” stated Salinas.
Student Voice Committee Chair Denis Turan underscores the reality of students desiring to transfer or leave UCR, “My mission is to make sure that students are represented at those conversations. Students were saying this to us. We didn’t just make this up. These are real UCR students thoughts and feelings about the campus.”