DirectConnect to UCF
UCF’s DirectConnect to UCF® (DC) program has been lauded as an award-winning, nationally distinctive transfer partnership program in the country by national associations and consultancies that cite DC as a best practice and exemplar for partnering with transfer-sending institutions, providing access and opportunity to Latino and other minoritized students, and for impacting the social mobility of our Central Florida region. Through UCF’s innovative partnership program, DirectConnect to UCF® (DC), six Florida College System state colleges work together with UCF to reduce barriers, to increase access, and to provide an affordable and quality educational experience for prospective transfer students by way of a guaranteed admissions and transfer readiness program. Intentional efforts have also been made to connect more Latino students and their families to resources that facilitate a seamless transfer to UCF. One example being the revamped DC website that now includes a language translator to Spanish and other languages. Since 2006 when DC started, there has been a 432% (356 in 2006-2007 to 1,313 in 2019-2020) increase in degrees earned by DC Latino/a/x students.
UCF Downtown Campus, Dr. Phillips Academic Commons
The Conexiones program was launched in spring 2020 to implement a more tailored approach to supporting a seamless transition for Latino students from partner institutions to UCF via a culturally responsive and equitable lens. An intentional focus was placed on DirectConnect to UCF Latino students from Valencia College, where 76% (4,247) of all DirectConnect to UCF Latino students transfer from. Specifically, Conexiones bridges the gaps for Latino students across partner institutions and educates Latino students and their families about educational opportunities while embracing and celebrating their cultural values and experiences. Features of this program include Latino-centric events that represent and resonate with Latino students, mentoring and coaching by Spanish-speaking staff that can often relate to Latino student ways of thinking and being, and family engagement through community outreach. This immersive, cultural approach can help reduce the barrier of transfer shock for Latino students and enable a strong start at UCF.
Student: Andrea Briceno Cappa, Conexiones Peer Knight Coach
“Being a peer coach and part of Conexiones is understanding how important it is to connect with your roots. Helping students like me who are far from home to succeed in their careers at UCF gives me satisfaction and commitment and at the same time help me grow personally and professionally.
Ser peer coach y ser parte de Conexiones es entender lo importante que es conectar con tus raíces. Ayudar a estudiantes como yo que están lejos de sus hogares a tener éxito en su carrera en UCF me llena de satisfacción y compromiso y al mismo tiempo me enseña a crecer en lo personal y profesional.”
Andrea Briceno Cappa