As California and Legislature contend with effects of COVID-19 in higher education, strengthening transfer becomes essential work.
SACRAMENTO, CA – Today Assemblymember Marc Berman, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California, and the Campaign for College Opportunity announced the introduction of AB 928, critical legislation to significantly increase the number of students transferring from California Community Colleges to four-year universities.
“Too many community college students hoping to find an affordable and achievable pathway to a four-year university instead are confronted with a maze of pathways and requirements that create confusion, lead to unnecessary unit accumulation, and too often lead to students dropping out before obtaining a degree. AB 928 will help streamline and improve the transfer process, making it easier for California students to accomplish their educational goals. Now more than ever, it is critical to increase degree attainment, improve time to degree, and close racial equity gaps,” said Assemblymember Berman.
Transfer from California’s community colleges to its public and private nonprofit universities is central to the state’s Master Plan for Higher Education, and as Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California, Assemblymember Berman has been elevating the need to focus on reimagining the transfer process from a student-centered perspective.
AB 928, the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act of 2021, strengthens transfer by removing barriers and building upon the highly successful Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) designed to simplify the transfer pathway, save students time and money, and guarantee admission to the state’s public universities.
Through a series of conversations with students, college presidents, transfer center directors, and leaders from the University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), California Community Colleges, and Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU), Assemblymember Berman and the Campaign for College Opportunity identified some of the most significant barriers to improving transfer and scaling the ADT. AB 928 is designed to address those barriers and strengthen a student-centered transfer pathway by:
- Creating an intersegmental committee to provide greater state-level accountability for ADT implementation while setting ambitious transfer attainment goals to significantly increase transfer and close racial equity gaps.
- Setting a target date for the UC and CSU to consolidate the two general education pathways – Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) and CSU Breadth - into one pathway that satisfies the requirements for transfer admission to both the CSU and UC.
- Requiring California Community College students be put on an ADT pathway where one exists for their intended major, as opposed to a local associate’s degree in the same academic major. In doing so, a student will be placed directly onto the pathway that will maximize the probability that a student will enter and complete a four-year university degree in their chosen field of study in a timely manner and minimizing the accrual of excess units.
In the last ten years, the California Community Colleges have awarded over 280,000 ADTs, but as the economy demands a more highly educated workforce and individuals are looking to earn a degree to increase their social mobility and guard against poverty and unemployment, transfer still remains elusive. Though most of the 2.2 million community college students in the state intend to transfer, fewer than half do so within six years of their initial enrollment.
“Students have faced unexpected hurdles on their path to a college education throughout this pandemic and have shown us that their talent and capacity to succeed will not be impeded. We owe it to them to ensure that the transfer system we have in place has the capacity to serve them and is intentionally designed to place them on a streamlined path to success,” said Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity.
The ADT reduces the number of unnecessary credits students earn on their transfer journeys while driving up the increase in the number of students who transfer to the CSU with an associate’s degree. “I came into college not knowing what was necessary to transfer. My counselor at Pasadena City College introduced me to the ADT when I was a freshman, and I immediately knew this was the pathway for me. This degree allowed me to save money and time in college while also guaranteeing me admission to a CSU. Thanks to the ADT, I reached my goal of graduating and transferring in two years!” said Elizabeth Moreno, a transfer student at Cal Poly Pomona.
“The ADT has a proven track record of success and is the most valuable tool we have at our disposal to transform transfer and close racial equity gaps so that it works for far more students, especially in this difficult pandemic environment,” concluded Siqueiros.
To learn more about AB 928, click here.
Read what California leaders are saying about transforming transfer here.
Follow the conversation on social media: #TransformingTransfer
Contact: Kaitlin Curry, (916) 319-2024