California governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation Wednesday intended to ease the transfer process for the state’s community college students to the University of California and California State University systems.
The bill will require the UC and CSU systems to agree on a common set of general education courses, creating a new general education transfer pathway to their institutions. It also requires community colleges to put all students on the existing transfer pathway that guarantees admission to Cal State institutions, with an option to opt out.
The author of the bill, Assemblymember Marc Berman, said California students describe the transfer process as “too complex, confusing, and difficult to navigate.”
“Instead of being a clear path, it’s a maze, and it’s costing students time and money that they can’t afford,” Berman said in a press release.
The bill received backing from the CSU system and the Campaign for College Opportunity, a California-based advocacy organization focused on student success. However, the legislation also faced significant opposition, including from the UC Office of the President and the chancellor’s office of the California Community Colleges, Cal Matters reported. Opponents argued the goals of the bill are admirable but the execution is flawed.
The bill is “well-intentioned” but reflects a “one-size-fits-all approach,” Kieran Flaherty, associate vice president and director of state governmental relations at the UC Office of the President, wrote in an August letter to the chair of the California Senate appropriations committee.
Newsom signed a total of seven bills related to higher education Wednesday.
“We’re turning commitments into reality by ensuring that our students have more access to high-quality educational opportunities, creating a change of course for generations to come and bolstering California’s innovation economy,” Newsom said in a press release.