Oct. 19, 2010 — The recent signing of Senate Bill 1440 and Assembly Bill 2302 have theoretically made it easier for community college students to transfer to a higher education institution within the state, but the implications are farther reaching than that.
Basically, both bills are designed to make the process for a student with an associate’s degree to transfer more seamlessly from a community college into either the California State University or University of California system. SB 1440 is giving priority admission to any student with an associate degree for transfer, while AB 2302 is looking to make it easier to understand how to transfer to a UC school by giving students and faculty all the necessary information necessary.
On paper, both bills look like they’re implementing a transfer process that’s already in place. Putting into legislation the parts about eliminating unnecessary coursework for transfer students, however, is what brings up the larger implications: state legislators and educators want more people going into higher education.
Students transferring to a four-year university from a community college already have plenty to juggle when it comes to transferring successfully. Not only do they have to keep track of the ever-changing curriculum requirements of both the California State and UC systems, they also have to make sure they aren’t taking unneeded courses for their transfer and that they have access to all the classes they need to transfer.
That can be quite a balancing act at a community college that may not be able to offer all the courses needed for transfer each semester.
These bills are encouraging the focus to be placed more firmly on the transfer process with community colleges. It could be potentially difficult for community colleges by making them shift their priorities, staff, resources, etc., all with the intent of getting more associate degrees to upgrade into bachelors degrees.
While the bills may sound a little redundant, it’s the kind of redundancy the state of California and by extension Lassen County may need right now.In times of a recession, community college enrollment always goes up. Compared to last fall, Lassen Community College’s enrollment is up almost 10 to 11 percent this semester. With more people trying to better themselves through education, why shouldn’t the education system try to make itself a little smarter as well?
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