New bill aims to declutter community college transfer process

New+bill+aims+to+declutter+community+college+transfer+process

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill that eases community college transfers to Universities of California (UC) and Cal State Universities (CSU) on Oct. 6.

Assembly Bill No. 928 aims to increase transfer rates by simplifying the process for transfer students and closing equity gaps. Newsom outlined the need for a unified transfer pathway for UCs and CSUs. Currently, transfer requirements are inconsistent between schools, leading to a complicated process and low transfer rates.

“It’s a confusing process just in the nature of what it is,” counselor Kevin O’Connell said. “When you have things such as this law that help to solidify the Cal State UC system to have one common pathway and not two separate ones, you help declutter that information…By creating a more of a straightforward, streamlined process that can be promoted and that’s clear to students, that will hopefully translate into higher transfer rates and successful completion of a four-year degree.”

To establish the consolidated pathway from community colleges to UCs and CSUs, an Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates will be formed. The Committee comprising UCs, CSUs and California Community Colleges aims to develop a common education pathway by May 31, 2023 to be used in the 2025–26 academic year. Students and faculty members will focus on implementing the Associate Degree for Transfer in both schools, which will allow students to earn a guaranteed spot at universities.

“It’s a pretty big committee,” Irvine Valley College Articulation Officer Tiffany Tran said. “The Associate Degree for Transfer is great, but right now only the CSUs really participate… It’s good that we are sitting down and pulling in the UCs.”

Community colleges account for 46 percent of undergraduates enrolled in a higher education according to the American Council of Education. Additionally, 49 percent of students who received a bachelor’s degree were enrolled in a two-year public institution according to National Student ClearingHouse Research Center.

“I do think there’s a stigma around community college, but I think it has a lot to do with us being in Irvine,” senior Angelina Song said. “I know a lot of my generation … thinks community college is a viable option, which it is… it was always really accepted, but there is a stigma.”

Prompted by last year’s competitive application season and the rising demand for a four-year education, the UCs have also initiated plans to add an additional 20,000 seats by 2030.

“The value of a UC education has never been greater before than now,” UC Regents Chair Cecilia V. Estolano said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “The future of the state, as well as the future of the nation, really depends on UC expanding its capacity to educate the great leaders, philosophers, scientists, climate researchers of the future.”

The UC regents chair hopes to achieve their goals of adding seats by reducing the amount of time it takes to get degrees, making better use of community facilities, and utilizing remote learning. She also displays interest in sharing resources with Cal States and community colleges to develop an educational hub.