Senate Bill 1440, the Student Achievement Transfer Reform (STAR) Act which creates a formal transfer Associate of Arts degree for students transferring from community colleges to the CSU, was signed into legislation by Governor Schwarzenegger on Wednesday.
According to the CSU press release, the new legislation “will take effect in the fall of 2011 [and] will allow students a simplified and well defined path for transferring from a California Community College to the CSU.”
On Sept. 3, the STAR Act was enrolled to the governor after legislators passed it on, his approval being the final hurdle towards enactment.
“This bill is one of the greatest moves our state has taken in reforming our system of higher education,” said Pedro Ramirez, Associate Students, Inc. president. It also has a wide spectrum of support from faculty, administrators and both political parties, Ramirez said.
“The current transfer process has many holes and problems that keep many students from successful transferring from another system,” he said.
The new transfer Associate of Arts degree is not yet named, but its goal is to encourage students to complete community college curriculum more quickly and efficiently, potentially cutting student fees and saving colleges valuable course-related spending.
Vivian Franco, director of admissions, records, and evaluations at Fresno State said that implementation would not likely happen in fall 2011 as the bill states. It will take time to integrate and time must be allowed for students to adapt, she said. It wouldn’t benefit them this early if students were to look at a new transfer pattern and not even know what it was.
“They key is making sure advisers at community colleges get students in this program immediately,” said Bernard Vinovrski, associate vice president of Enrollment Services.
Although the SB 1440 bill is most associated with the CSU, Assembly Bill 2302 accompanies it, encouraging the University of California to similarly streamline the transfer process.