New Transfer Pathway for CA Community College Students


Fresno State welcome sign, FSU is currently COS feeder school for ADT program that is currently used.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “stand-alone dual admission program” would create a more seamless transfer pathway for thousands of community college students, guaranteeing admissions as long as it is within the program’s two-year time frame.

Outlined within the Governor’s bill is guaranteed acceptance to a California State University or University of California campus for first-time community college students. Along with access to counseling, library, and other services at the CSU or UC, they agree to transfer to, the bill also would provide transfer students with provisional financial aid letters from their perspective CSU and UC as one of its requirements.

One of the more controversial aspects of this bill is the two-year timeline students have to complete the course work and obtain their Associates’s degree in order to maintain their acceptance. Meaning if passed first-time community college students entering college this coming fall that want to utilize this program will need to have completed the required course work and be ready to transfer in the fall 2023 semester.

All this might sound familiar to some community college students as some aspects of this current bill does mirror that of the Associate’s Degree for Transfer (ADT) program currently in place. The ADT program is a guided path for college students, it ensures students take classes they need and will transfer within their prospective majors.

However, the primary difference between the current ADT program in place and Gov. Newsom’s new bill is that this new bill would guarantee acceptance into the CSU or UC of the student’s choice. Whereas the current ADT program in place only guarantees students acceptance to one of the 23 or 9 undergraduate campuses within the system and within your major or area of study as outlined within the ADT program.

Some might find the two-year timeline a restrictive one, citing students work at different paces and it’s not always common for a community college student to transfer within two years. Something that was sure to be discussed during a meeting between state legislators and higher education leaders, and California Community Colleges shortly after the announcement of the new bill was made.

Those attending the meeting showed support for the new bill along with California Community College Chancellor Joseph Castro EdSource reported. Chancellor Castro was also one of the forum leaders during this meeting that took place last month.

This more seamless bill is not the first of its kind within the nation’s community college system with many schools on the east coast already running a similar program within their community college system. The hope is to allow first-time college students to declare intent to a CSU or UC early in their post-secondary education, making them more likely to meet their educational goals.

The fate of this bill will be up in the air until later this year when the state is set to vote on the state budget in June, which this bill would be tied to. With the current state budget already taking a hit due to the pandemic, there is no telling if the state budget will have room for a program such as this.