BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                              Senator Carol Liu, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:             AB 1016            
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          |Author:    |Santiago                                             |
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          |Version:   |May 28, 2015                             Hearing     |
          |           |Date:    June 24, 2015                               |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
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          |Consultant:|Kathleen Chavira                                     |
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          Subject:  Public postsecondary education:  Student Transfer  
          Achievement Reform Act

            SUMMARY
          
          This bill requires the Chancellor's Office of the California  
          Community Colleges (CCC) to report to on the status of each  
          community college's compliance with the creation of associate  
          degrees for transfer under the Student Transfer Achievement  
          Reform Act and requires the California State University (CSU) to  
          similarly report on campus acceptance of transfer model  
          curricula by concentration,  to the Legislature, as specified  
          and also require the CSU to post specified publicly available  
          data on associate degree for transfer students. 
           
            BACKGROUND
          
          Existing law establishes the Student Transfer Achievement Reform  
          Act under which a CCC district is required to develop and grant  
          a transfer associate degree that deems the student eligible for  
          transfer into the CSU, when the student meets specified course  
          requirements.  (Education Code  66746)

          Existing law also requires the CSU to guarantee admission with  
          junior status to any community college student who meets these  
          requirements, but provides that the student is not guaranteed  
          admission for specific majors or campuses. However, the CSU is  
          required to grant a student priority admission to his or her  
          local CSU campus and to a program or major that is similar to  
          his or her community college major or area of emphasis, as  







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          determined by the CSU campus to which the student is admitted.  
          Students that utilize the associate transfer degree process are  
          required to receive priority over all other community college  
          transfer students, except for community college students who  
          have entered into a transfer agreement between a community  
          college and the California State University prior to the fall  
          term of the 2012-13 academic year. 
          (EC  66747)

          Existing law requires the Legislative Analyst's Office to review  
          and report, as specified, on the implementation of the Act by  
          Spring of 2012.  (EC  66749)

            ANALYSIS
          
          This bill:

       1)Requires the Chancellor's Office of the California Community  
            Colleges (CCC) to report to the Legislature the status of each  
            community college's compliance with the creation of associate  
            degrees for transfer by March 1, 2016.

       2)Requires the California State University (CSU) to submit 2  
            reports on campus acceptance of transfer model curricula by  
            concentration by March 1, 2016 and by March 1, 2017.

       3)Sunsets the March 2016 reporting requirements on March 1, 2020,  
            and the March 2017 reporting requirements on March 1, 2021. 

       4)Requires, beginning December 1, 2016 and until November 30, 2021,  
            the CSU to annually post publicly available data on:

               a)        The number of students admitted with an associate  
               degree for transfer.

               b)        The proportion of students with an associate  
               degree for transfer who graduate from the CSU within 2 or 3  
               years. 

               c)        The number of students with an associate degree  
               for transfer who applied to one campus and were redirected  
               to another campus other than that indicated on the  
               application.









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               d)        The number of those students who ultimately  
               enrolled at a CSU campus.


          STAFF COMMENTS
          
       1)Need for the bill.  This bill responds to recent recommendations  
            of the Legislative Analyst regarding transfer reform  
            implementation.  It will provide additional information for  
            the Legislature to track the progress of the CCC/CSU  
            implementation of the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act.

       2)Technical amendment.  It is the intent of this bill that the CSU  
            annually post available data, as specified, in a manner which  
            is publicly accessible.  Staff recommends the bill be amended  
            on page 3 line 4 to insert a comma after "publicly." 
          
       3)History.  In an effort to address long standing issues and  
            concerns about the need to ensure a clearer, transparent and  
            more navigable transfer process between the CCC and the CSU,  
            the Legislature and Governor enacted SB 1440 (Padilla, Chapter  
            428, Statutes of 2010).  This legislation required community  
            colleges to create two-year 60 unit associate degrees for  
            transfer that are fully transferable to CSU. These degrees  
            require completion of (1) a minimum of 18 units in a major or  
            area of emphasis, as determined by each community college, and  
            (2) an approved set of general education requirements.  
            Students who earn such a degree are automatically eligible to  
            transfer to the CSU system as an upper-division student in a  
            bachelor's degree program. Though these students are not  
            guaranteed admission to a particular CSU campus or into a  
            particular degree program, SB 1440 gives them priority  
            admission to a CSU program that is "similar" to the student's  
            CCC major or area of emphasis, as determined by the CSU campus  
            to which the student is admitted. Once admitted, SB 1440  
            students need to only complete two additional years (an  
            additional 60 units) of coursework to earn a bachelor's  
            degree. 

            SB 440 (Padilla, Chapter 720, Statutes of 2013) expanded these  
            provisions to require that the California Community College  
            (CCC) create associate transfer degrees in every major, and in  
            areas of emphasis, and required that the California State  
            University (CSU) accept these degrees, and develop an  








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            admissions redirection process for students who complete these  
            degrees but are denied admission to the CSU campus to which  
            they have applied.  SB 440 also required the CCC and the CSU  
            to establish a student-centered communication and marketing  
            strategy to increase the visibility of the associate degree  
            for transfer pathway. 

       4)LAO Report - 2012.  In May 2012, the Legislative Analyst's Office  
            (LAO) issued Reforming the State's Transfer Process: A  
            Progress Report on Senate Bill SB 1440.  According to the LAO,  
            although the CCC and CSU had made notable progress on multiple  
            fronts, both segments had much room for improvement. According  
            to the LAO, an average of just four associate degrees for  
            transfer had been developed per community college. In  
            addition, a number of community colleges expressed reluctance  
            to create more than a handful of such degrees despite the CCC  
            Chancellor's Office goal that, by 2014, each community college  
            have a Transfer Model Curriculum (TMC) aligned associate  
            degree for transfer in every major it offered.  The LAO also  
            reported that CSU campuses and academic programs varied  
            significantly in terms of accepting the associate transfer  
            degrees for their bachelor's degree programs. Although the CSU  
            Chancellor's Office had set a goal for each CSU campus to  
            offer at least one similar degree for each TMC-aligned  
            associate degree for transfer, only six CSU campuses had  
            achieved this goal.

            The LAO made several recommendations in their report,  
            including that the Legislature provide additional guidance and  
            clarification to CCC and CSU on their responsibilities, as  
            well as continued oversight to track their progress.

       5)Updated report.  The LAO recently updated its 2012 report with  
            its February 2015 report, "Implementation Update: Reforming  
            Transfer from CCC to CSU."  The LAO found that since 2012,  
            both CCC and CSU have made substantial progress in meeting the  
            legislation's goals. The 33 model curricula developed to date  
            cover majors selected by roughly 80 percent of CCC to CSU  
            transfer students. Although some community colleges and CSU  
            campuses were lagging in meeting specific statutory targets,  
            both segments were making a good faith effort to comply with  
            the legislation.  Other specific findings included the  
            following:









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          a)   Several colleges offer all the associate degrees they are  
               required to offer by fall 2015, and others have developed  
               these degrees and are awaiting approval. Most colleges,  
               however, still have a few degrees left to develop and a few  
               colleges are lagging far behind. 

          b)   Despite various communication efforts, most CCC students  
               are unfamiliar with the new degrees and mistakenly believe  
               that the regular associate degree they have earned is an  
               associate degree for transfer. The LAO notes that recent  
               CCC investments in education planning for students could  
               improve understanding of transfer reform. 

          c)   CSU admitted every applicant the system identified as  
               earning an associate degree for transfer and nearly all  
               students who earned the degree but were not identified  
               during the application process.  The California State  
               University (CSU) was unable to provide data on the extent  
               to which students were admitted into their campus or major  
               of choice. 

          d)   Most CSU campuses accept associate degrees for transfer and  
               honor the 60-unit guarantee in at least one concentration  
               within each related major. Nonetheless, a few campuses are  
               lagging in acceptance, and a few majors have low acceptance  
               among several campuses. 

          e)   While growing numbers of students are earning an associate  
               degree for transfer and successfully transferring to CSU,  
               outcome data are too preliminary to draw conclusions, since  
               most students currently completing degrees began their  
               postsecondary education prior to transfer reform. 

               To help the Legislature monitor these reform efforts,  
               Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) recommends one near-term  
               report from California Community College (CCC) (in fall  
               2015) and two from CSU (in fall 2015 and fall 2016) to  
               track the segments' progress in creating associate degrees  
               for transfer and accepting transfer model curricula. LAO  
               also recommend the Legislature require the CSU annually to  
               provide data on certain student outcomes (including  
               admittance to campuses and programs of choice, units taken,  
               and graduation rates) beginning fall 2018.









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               This bill generally implements these recommendations. 

            SUPPORT
          
          Board of Governors, California Community Colleges
          Cal Chamber
          Campaign for College Opportunity

            OPPOSITION
           
           None received.

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