New California law aims to facilitate transfers from community colleges to UC, Cal State

California hopes to facilitate the transfer of community college students to state public universities under a bill signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday that streamlines a process that students have described as a maze and obstacle to transfer.

By making it easier to access University of California and California State University campuses, the state hopes to increase the number of students moving from community college to four-year colleges and close the gaps. equity, officials said.

MP Mark Berman, a Democrat from Los Altos who drafted the bill, said students trying to navigate the transfer process sent a clear message that the system needed an overhaul.

“It’s too complex, confusing and difficult to navigate. Instead of being a clear path, it is a maze and costs students time and money which they cannot afford, ”he said upon signing alongside Newsom, who on Wednesday signed two dozen bills related to higher education.

Among other things, the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act of 2021 simplifies the Associate Degree for Transfer program, which guarantees priority admission to schools in Cal State.

It requires community colleges to place all potential transfer students – even if they wish to attend a UC campus or other college – into the existing “guaranteed transfer path” to enter a state school. Cal, unless they pull out.

It also requires the UC and CSU systems to agree on a common set of courses by the 2025-2026 academic year, which community college students must take to enter either system. .

The University of California opposed the legislation, saying it took a “one-size-fits-all approach” for students to transfer to two very different university systems.

“While there are many similarities between UC and CSU undergraduate programs, there are also important differences” in the programs and other areas, “UC said, agreeing that the transfer system had to be improved, while claiming that the bill would “completely reverse” its approach.

A separate bill signed Wednesday requires that community college classes have the same course numbers as comparable courses at four-year colleges, to reduce confusion that can be another barrier to transfer, Berman said.

A 2020 report from the Public Policy Institute of California found that a significant gap exists between the number of students who hope to transfer and those who do, and that equity gaps were a big concern. While Latinos make up 51% of students who declare a transfer goal, they represent 35% who follow up on a transfer within four years.

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