The Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act
Earlier this summer, the Assembly Higher Education Committee approved Senator Alex Padilla’s Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (Senate Bill 1440) with a vote of 9-0. If enacted, the Act will help make the transfer process between CSU’s and California Community Colleges much more streamlined and efficient for students, while also generating cost savings for the state.
Here are some goals of the STAR Act as listed in the bill’s Fact Sheet:
- Mandates that CCCs (California Community Colleges) create A.A. degrees for transfer to a CSU with areas of emphasis
- Guarantees that students who earn the transfer degree are admitted to the CSU with upper division junior status.
- Precludes CCCs from requiring additional courses for this degree
- Assures that transfer students will graduate with a bachelor’s degree with 120 semester units or 180 quarter units, with the exception of certain college majors.
Duplicate requirements, varying major pre-requisites per campus, and non-transferable courses are some of the factors that cause frustration and delay in transfer student’s completion of their degree. The bill addresses several issues transfer students experience when applying and transferring to a CSU, thereby clarifying the process and generating more transfer students each year.
While the bill’s purpose is to make the transfer process more streamlined, it is also beneficial cost-wise. An estimated $160 million in cost savings will be generated annually through this act. Also, by creating a more streamlined transfer path, students will spend less spend time and money in courses they don’t need or may have taken before. This will help students save money on tuition, books, and fees all while earning the required amount of units they need. Students will therefore graduate in less time, and enter the workforce sooner.
The STAR Act is strongly supported by California Community Colleges, and co-sponsored by the California State University and several other organizations, as well as the CSU and CCC Chancellors. The Act will benefit thousands of students in CCCs and hopefully, increase the number of students who transfer from CCCs and CSUs overall. Overall, the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act will be a positive step towards transfer reform in the state of California once it is enacted.