Working Towards A Bachelors Degree
Almost three years after California lawmakers had approved reforms to provide students studying at community colleges with a streamlined method to attend California State University campuses; it seems that they are already seeking to add more provisions. The 2010 law originally required students who completed a two year major program at a community college to have a guaranteed role at a CSU campus that would allow them to enroll as juniors. The students wouldn't have to repeat any of their courses and those who wanted to attend an impacted college or program would be able to receive a boost to their GPA to help make them a more interesting applicant. Although it was a huge reform, it wasn't enough.
The main problem is that the reforms are being implemented too slowly at some of the community colleges and there are not enough students that are aware of these new associate transfer degrees. Although 25 different subject majors have been created that are able to handle the associate degree for transfer, some of the community colleges are only offering a few of the degrees on their campuses, which is making the experience more difficult for students who are aware of the reform. Even though the entire process isn't being stalled on, there are a lot of uneven results everywhere.
Community college officials are claiming that the initiative is gaining more popularity and power. A public awareness site was launched in October 2012 to help get the word out to the students. Senate Bill 440, which was authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), is seeking to ensure that every community college student in the state will be able to benefit from the goals that were provided by the 2010 reforms. That bill was approved by the Assembly Higher Education Committee this week during an 11-0 vote. In a statement, Padilla said, "I want to make sure that the job gets finished and that every community college student on every campus has the opportunity to earn a transfer degree that guarantees admission to CSU."
Bill 440 would require for the colleges to develop a more strategic plan for their implementation of the reforms. It would create transfer degrees in every major by 2014-15 and in areas of emphasis by 2016-17. It will also be able to ensure that students who do not get into their first choice CSU would be able to have a 'redirection process' that would help them find another campus where they could study. According to Padilla's office, over 10,000 community college applicants to CSU in fall 2012 had identified themselves as being eligible for the associate degree for transfer, but only 2500 were able to receive the degree. There is hope that with the inclusion of the bill and other efforts being taken by lawmakers, it will be easier for them to be able to implement the 2010 reform and provide students with the programs and results that they were promised years ago.