New Law Makes It Easier to Transfer to California State Schools

SAN FRANCISCO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday signed legislation that guarantees community college graduates admission to the California State University, a change backers say will help more students earn four-year degrees.

The Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act allows students who earn an associate’s degree at one of California’s two-year colleges to complete a bachelor’s degree at a Cal State campus with an additional 60 credits. It takes effect in fall 2011.

“This is a watershed moment for future college students across the state of California who will now be able to more easily reach their goal of attaining a bachelor’s degree,” CSU Chancellor Charles Reed said in a statement.

CSU and community college officials believe the change will help save millions of dollars by making the transfer process more efficient. Currently, many two-year college students take more classes than they need to transfer to one of CSU’s 23 campuses.

Supporters say the move will allow Cal State and California Community Colleges to serve an additional 50,000 students by allowing students to complete their degrees faster.

The bill’s author, state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, said the legislation “will better align our higher education system, saving students time, money and freeing up state resources to serve more students.”

The governor also signed a companion bill that calls on the 10-campus University of California system to develop a similar transfer system.