Newsom signs bills to facilitate university transfer and improve student accommodation

Credit: Office of the Governor

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law at California State University, Northridge.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed several bills that would improve the affordability of colleges and facilitate the transfer of students from community colleges to the state’s public university systems.

“We are turning our commitments into reality by ensuring our students have greater access to high-quality educational opportunities, creating a change of course for generations to come, and strengthening California’s innovation economy.” Newsom said in a press release. “Californians have thrived in our world-class universities for decades, but not everyone has had the same access – today that is changing. Everyone deserves a chance to make the “California dream” come true – we are closing the equity gaps and increasing opportunities at our universities to make those dreams come true for more California students. “

The latest bills are part of the state’s $ 47.1 billion investment in the state’s higher education system, including ongoing core funding for the University of California, the California State University and California Community Colleges, expansion of the state’s Cal Grant program to other community college students, and many other programs to make college more affordable. An additional $ 1.9 billion was also signed by Newsom to create college savings accounts.

Assembly Bill 928 is included in the investment program, drafted by Assembly Member Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park. This bill requires the 23 campuses of California State University and the nine undergraduate campuses in the University of California system to establish a common and singular general education pathway for transfer. It also requires California Community Colleges to place students who declare a transfer goal on an associate’s degree for the transfer path for their planned major. The bill gives the systems until May 31, 2023 to create a common and unique general education path. Or until December 31, 2023 if an agreement cannot be reached sooner.

The Associate’s Degree for Transfer – known as ADT – was created to streamline the process and ensure admission into the UC and CSU systems. It also allows students to transfer to many private universities. But problems remain. A report of the Campaign for College Opportunity, a California-based nonprofit, found that even though students only needed 60 credits to transfer, even with ADT, they averaged 86 credits. Without the transfer degree, many obtained significantly more credits, up to 90.

AB 928 also creates a committee with representatives from universities and community colleges to oversee ADT.

“For the millions of California community college students who dream of attending college, today’s action ensures that dreams can come true,” said Michele Siqueiros, campaign chair. “Fixing the transfer is one of the most important ways to improve student success, close the racial equity gap in higher education, and ensure that our state can meet future workforce needs” artwork. “

Newsom also signed AB 1111 which requires 116 community colleges to adopt a common course numbering system that ensures that similar courses at all community colleges in California are aligned so that they meet the same transfer requirements for CSU systems. and UC.

“When the students discussed their experience with the transfer process from community college to four-year university, their message was loud and clear: The transfer is too complex, confusing and difficult to navigate,” said Berman. “Together, the AB 928 and 1111 will make it easier for students to reach their educational goals. “

Newsom also signed bills that would make financial aid more accessible to students, including AB 469 sponsored by Assembly Member Eloise Gomez Reyes, D-San Bernardino, to require all students by September 2022 are submitting a free request for Federal Student Aid or the California Dream Act. application.

Investment in higher education also includes $ 2 billion to improve student housing and make it more affordable.

“From historic investments in financial aid and student housing that will benefit students to a radical overhaul of transfer, 2021 is a pivotal year for public higher education in California,” said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. “We appreciate the bold vision demonstrated by Governor Newsom and his commitment to further improve education access and outcomes across the Golden State. “

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