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Schwarzenegger signs bills on college transfers

September 29, 2010 |  1:17 pm

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a pair of bills Wednesday to make it easier for community college students to transfer to the California State University and University of California systems, something many have been unable to do because of inconsistent and ever-changing coursework requirements.

One of the new laws, SB 1440, will require the California State University system to guarantee admission with junior status to community college students who obtain associate degrees tailored to specific majors and who meet all requirements for transfer. The other one,  AB 2302, calls for the University of California to examine the creation of a similar transfer pathway.

"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," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

According to the Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy, 73% of California college students attend community colleges. But only 22.7% of  those who intend to transfer to four-year universities actually achieve that goal, according to Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), author of SB 1440.

He said the inconsistent and duplicative course requirements for transfers frustrate students.

"With this bill, more students will successfully transfer and earn bachelor’s degrees in less time," Padilla said. "SB 1440 will better align our higher education system, saving students time, money and freeing up state resources to serve more students."

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento