California Bill Making It Easier for Some Community College Students to Transfer to UC Sent to Governor

California Bill Making It Easier for Some Community College Students to Transfer to UC Sent to Governor

A student walks toward Royce Hall on the campus of University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in Los Angeles on March 11, 2020. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

10/4/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

A California bill that would streamline the process for some community college students to transfer to a University of California (UC) campus is one step away from becoming law.
Assembly Bill 1291, introduced in February by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), would establish a pilot program that prioritizes community college students who complete associate degrees in certain majors for admission to UC campuses.
The bill unanimously passed the Assembly in May and was unanimously passed again by the Senate in September. It was sent Sept. 21 to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has until Oct. 14 to sign it into law.
The pilot would begin at the University of California–Los Angeles, requiring officials to select eight majors eligible for the program by the 2026–27 school year.
Then, it would expand to UC’s other campuses by 2028–29, requiring those campuses to have 12 majors eligible for the program and requiring four to be in the science, technology, engineering, or mathematics fields.
Mr. McCarty argued that the bill would streamline the state’s community college transfer system to UC schools. The system already has a similar agreement with the California State University system.
“[The bill] delivers on a long-standing goal in California: to simplify and streamline transfer paths for hardworking, qualified community college students wishing to attend a UC or a CSU,” he stated in a Sept. 13 Senate Education analysis. “Creating a universal transfer path will increase economic opportunity and prosperity for all Californians and help our state economy thrive.”
Students walk through the University of California–Irvine campus in Irvine, Calif., on Sept. 25, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Students walk through the University of California–Irvine campus in Irvine, Calif., on Sept. 25, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

However, the UC students’ association, along with the California community colleges’ student group, oppose the bill.
In a joint Sept. 14 letter to Mr. Newsom, the groups said they were concerned because the bill was drafted without input from education experts, college practitioners, and students.
Instead, the groups said students preferred a transfer program that would streamline the transfer process for all majors—not just a selected number of majors as proposed in the bill.
The groups said they supported the original version of Assembly Bill 1749, which would have required the UC system to automatically admit all students who complete an “associate degree for transfer,” as the CSU system already does.
The student associations’ letter urged Mr. Newsom to veto the bill, which they called a “hastily drafted and last-minute legislation with no student input,” and “allow for a true conversation to take place” this fall between legislators, state officials, UC officials, and student associations with the goal of proposing new transfer legislation in 2024.
“This legislation makes compromises no student would have made,” the associations said in a joint statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, Sept. 15. “We deserve a systemwide guarantee. Transfer reform must be created with the guidance of subject matter experts, practitioners, and students.”
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

Author

Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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