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Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis and Educational Leaders Laud Legislation to Transform College Transfer Process

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA – The Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act of 2021, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman, passed out of the Legislature today and now awaits Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature. If signed, AB 928 will improve the process for community college students to transfer to a four-year university.

“The troubling reality is that the status quo is failing our students,” said Assemblymember Berman. “As Chair of the Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education, I have heard directly from students who say the transfer process is too complex, confusing, and difficult to navigate. 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 is responsive to these students and will help ensure more Californians can accomplish their educational goals.”

What Others Are Saying

“As Lieutenant Governor and the only person to serve on all three governing boards of California’s public higher education institutions, I commend the Legislature for approving AB 928 – a critical step in ensuring that our transfer system is truly serving California students. This bill will improve our transfer system by charting a clear path for community college students to transfer to a four-year college, saving studunts time and money.” – Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis

“The establishment of one streamlined lower division general education (GE) pathway for students from all backgrounds to transfer from community colleges to either the CSU or the UC is a game-changer and will ease their path towards a four-year degree.” – Dr. Joseph I. Castro, chancellor of the California State University

“AB 928 is a student-centered effort to address the tragically low transfer rates for community college students in California. This historic bill tackles a problematic transfer maze that has harmed student success and exacerbated racial inequities at our community colleges for far too long. We must embrace timely solutions like AB 928 that ensure all California students have a clear, bureaucracy-free pathway to earn their degrees and transfer to our universities. Our students know, and our State legislators have recognized, that creating a seamless transfer path is the right thing to do and is key to providing an equitable opportunity to succeed for community college students.” – Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity

“As a transfer student, I faced a maze of confusing transfer pathways that caused many students, like myself, to get lost. This bill would fix many inequities in the system and change the lives of hopeful transfer students all across the state of California.” – Alexis Atsilvsgi Zaragoza, student regent of the UC Board of Regents and former student board member of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors

Transfer from California’s community colleges to its public and private nonprofit universities is central to the state’s Master Plan for Higher Education, the 1960’s educational blueprint that Assemblymember Berman set out to review in 2017. Since convening a series of hearings throughout the state as chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California, Assemblymember Berman has been committed to reimagining the transfer process from a student perspective.

Only 19 percent of students with a transfer goal successfully transfer within four years, and only 28 percent transfer within six years. AB 928 is comprehensive, student-centered legislation that would streamline and improve the transfer process, making it easier for California students to accomplish their educational goals. As California begins to recover from the pandemic, now more than ever, it is critical to increase degree attainment, improve time to degree, and close racial equity gaps.

AB 928 would establish an Intersegmental Implementation Committee to provide a venue to facilitate intersegmental coordination and greater state-level accountability for implementation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT), and to focus on improving transfer outcomes for all students. The bill also requires the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates to establish a singular lower division general education pathway that meets admission requirements for both the CSU and UC. Going from two general education pathways to one makes it easier for students to apply to both CSU and UC and keeps their options open. The bill requires community colleges to place students on an ADT pathway, only if students declare a goal of transfer and such a pathway exists for their intended major. Importantly, students can opt-out and are empowered to choose what is best for them and their educational goals.

AB 928 passed out of the Assembly with a 77-0 vote and has received unanimous support throughout the legislative process. AB 928 is co-sponsored by the Campaign for College Opportunity, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Cal State Student Association, and University of California Student Association.

To learn more about AB 928, click here.

Follow the conversation on social media: #TransformingTransfer