The Santa Clarita Community College District held a study session last week to discuss new legislation, which would streamline the transfer process from a community college like College of the Canyons to a four-year university.
Assembly Bill 928, the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act of 2021, established a new agency called the Intersegmental Implementation Committee and it will be responsible for overseeing the Associate Degree for Transfer, known as ADT, and improving student transfer outcomes.
The act also required the committee to establish one lower division general education pathway, of no more than 34 units, that meets admission requirements for both the California State University and University of California systems. Previously, CSUs and UCs had separate admission requirements that students needed to meet in order to transfer.
“We have AB 928 that was passed, one of many things that are being proposed throughout the state to simplify transfer and completion for our students,” said David Andrus, academic senate president, during the informational presentation.
According to Andrus, it’s going to take some time to finalize and update the district’s program mapping and the guided pathway program to reflect these new transfer requirements. He also noted the Intersegmental Implementation Committee brings all the administrative and faculty units of the three systems — UC, CSU, and community colleges — together to come to an agreement about that transfer pathway.
Patrick Backes, articulation officer for COC, said the committee is looking at a combination of the two current pathways — the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum used by both UCs and CSUs and the CSU General Education-Breadth.
As part of the changes to transfer requirements, students will now be required to take two courses, instead of three courses, in the arts and humanities and social and behavioral sciences categories. This will make room to include the ethnic studies course, which would be required to transfer.
Oral communication would also be a required course to transfer to either a CSU or UC.
“I just want to clarify that students will need to take 60 units,” said Tricia George, curriculum committee faculty co-chair. “So, even though the general education requirements are dropping down to 34, we’re not losing units overall with the students. They’ll just have a little more freedom in how they use some of their units.”
In addition, Andrus noted lifelong learning courses will not be part of the new transfer requirements, which is being called the Cal-GETC.
“This is quite devastating to the students. We believe, strongly, as does CCC [California Community Colleges] that lifelong learning needs to happen at the lower division for them to be successful or to increase their success as students across the board,” Andrus said.
According to Andrus, CCC is considering ways to incorporate lifelong learning courses in its local degree pathways or in some form of requirements. COC’s Academic Senate recently passed a resolution in support of lifelong learning, he noted.
COC staff said there would be other pathways to transfer, but Cal-GETC will be the main one that many students will go through to transfer to a UC or CSU.
The board of trustees expressed their gratitude to COC staff for their presentation. They also lamented that lifelong learning will not be a requirement as some of the trustees felt those courses are critical to the success of students.
“I applaud the systems, I believe, in coming together and trying to find a common set of GE courses for transfer,” said Edel Alonso, president of the board of trustees. “I’m glad to see that at least they sat down at the same table and had those conversations.”
“In the long run, this would be a good thing,” she continued. “But the devil is always in the details.”