October 5, 2010 > Governor signs 'historic' college transfer reform bills
Governor signs 'historic' college transfer reform bills
Submitted By Marty Trujillo
Community college students from across the state hoping to transfer into a four-year school received a huge boost today when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law what supporters called a "historic higher education transfer reform package."
"This is a historic day for our entire state, but most importantly a major victory for our students who are working so hard to succeed in college," said Michele Siqueiros, executive director of The Campaign for College Opportunity, sponsor of the bills. "The signing of this historic legislation is a shining example that by working together the legislature and our higher education leaders can accomplish major reform that will drive California's future economic prosperity."
The transfer reform package signed by the governor consists of two bills, SB 1440 (Senator Alex Padilla - San Fernando Valley) and AB 2302 (Assembly member Paul Fong - Cupertino), that will greatly simplify the confusing transfer pathway between community colleges and four-year colleges.
"These two pieces of legislation are a historic victory for California's students, and I'm proud to sign both of them into law," said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "Guaranteeing admission into a CSU for any community college student who completes the newly established transfer degree under SB 1440 is a monumental step forward for California's higher education system. This legislation also strengthens our economy by giving more students the necessary skills to enter the workforce, grow companies and create jobs in California. I commend both Senator Alex Padilla and Assembly member Paul Fong for authoring legislation that provides such a fantastic opportunity to our community college students."
SB 1440 will create a clear transfer path for all California community college students, no matter which college they attend. Students who successfully complete 60 units of transferable coursework at a community college will be awarded an associates degree and receive guaranteed admission with upper division junior standing to the CSU. AB 2302 will strengthen the transfer reforms enacted in SB 1440 by requesting that the University of California (UC) develop a similar pathway for students wishing to transfer into the UC.
The CSU chancellor's office and the California Community Colleges chancellor's office estimate that streamlining the transfer process could save the state over $150 million per year. It would also enable the community college system to serve 40,000 more students per year and the CSU system 13,000 more students per year resulting in significant savings to both students and the state.
"This reform package is great news for the state's students," said Chris Chavez, president of the California State Student Association, which is comprised of the student governments of all 23 CSU campuses. "It will save our students and our colleges a lot of money. It will streamline our transfer system so that students won't need to pay for similar courses, allowing other students who need those classes to enroll."
Supporters of the transfer reform package argue that these reforms are needed to help the state move its economy and workforce forward.
"California is simply not producing enough college graduates," Siqueiros said, "and the inefficiency of our transfer process is a key factor. This legislation will enable California to produce more college graduates to keep the state competitive and innovative."
The Public Policy Institute of California has projected that if present trends continue, the state will be short one million college graduates by 2025 and that these degrees will be critical to the workforce because of the impending retirement of the better-educated Baby Boom generation. Other studies have found that the state will also need workers with vocational credentials, industry certification, and two-year associate degrees to fill "middle skill" jobs, which require more than a high school education but less than a four-year degree.
"The governor has seized a golden opportunity to better serve our transfer students and California's workforce for generations to come," Siqueiros said. "The governor, Chancellor Reed, Chancellor Scott, Senator Padilla and Assemblyman Fong are all to be commended for their extraordinary dedication and leadership in making this moment a reality for the students of California."
About The Campaign for College Opportunity:
The Campaign for College Opportunity is a broad-based, bipartisan coalition, including business, education and labor leaders, and is dedicated to ensuring the next generation of Californians has the opportunity to go to college. For more information, visit: www.collegecampaign.org.