By Hannah Smith, Nov. 2, 2021
Gov. Gavin Newsom approved Assembly Bills 928 and 1111 on Oct. 6 which would help simplify the process of California community college students hoping to transfer to a California State University or a University of California campus.
The two bills, set to be implemented by August 2024, seek to have more transfer credits accepted by the state’s four-year universities – a process transfer students at Cal Poly Pomona have described as difficult.
Anna Perkins, a hospitality management and two-time transfer student, knows firsthand how difficult it can be to navigate the current transfer process.
“Transfer students in community college should know it’s a very complicated process. That’s kind of like the common thread that all transfer students have,” said Perkins. “We kind of joke about it like ‘Oh, how was your transfer process? Mine was insane,’ and you kind of have to have an advisor to get you through it because it is so complicated.”
AB 928 requires that the CSU and UC systems establish a general education pathway for transfer admission; community colleges would then place students on an associate degree for transfer, or ADT, pathway for their intended major. Bill AB 1111 requires that California community colleges adopt a common course numbering system for general education requirements and transfer pathways.
By fully standardizing the general education pathways, all California colleges will have one set of general education requirements for students looking to transfer. Transfer students will no longer have to retake classes once they transfer because these bills hope to create more connections between the community and four-year colleges.
“I think what we’re learning is that these bills and these transfer student initiatives are actually impacting students at an earlier age, like K-12 level,” said Samuel Nieto, the transfer pathways coordinator for the Office of Student Success. “Students are now understanding that their transfer pathways are being laid out for them at an earlier age.”
With simplified and streamlined pathways for transfer students, the hope is that more students will be encouraged to pursue the transfer student route. On average, transfer students make up about 40% of Cal Poly Pomona’s student population, according to the PolyTransfer website. This fall semester’s incoming class included 3,384 transfer students, making up about 49% of those enrolled. In the coming years it is anticipated that CPP will see a rise in the number of transfer students, especially with the implementation of these bills.
“I think we’ll probably see more transfer students,” said Allan Miranda, a sociology student and PolyTransfer peer mentor. “We’ll probably see more underrepresented communities such as BIPOC communities, LGBTQ+ communities and more other minorities transferring over.”
PolyTransfer is CPP’s support system for current transfer students. Incoming transfer students are paired with peer mentors who have already gone through their first year as a transfer student and provide advice and assistance to those new to CPP.
With these new bills and various transfer support systems across California universities and community colleges, transfer students should be able to find the plan of action that works best for them to continue their education.
“We hope to have those incoming classes of 2023 and 2024 really be supported by these bills, and more importantly, what we are hoping to see by then is that these efforts align with other efforts in California,” said Nieto. “For us as a CSU we really hope that these bills support the graduation initiatives that we have on hand already and that we will continue to work toward.”
Feature image courtesy of PolyTransfer
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