SB 440 (Padilla) Public Postsecondary Education: Student Transfer Achievement Act, Oppose Unless Amended

AS-3130-13/FGA

ATTACHMENT 1 TO AS-3130-13/FGA
ATTACHMENT 2 TO AS-3130-13/FGA
ATTACHMENT 3 TO AS-3130-13/FGA
ATTACHMENT 4 TO AS-3130-13/FGA

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) continue to support the goals of SB 1440, including the development of a community college transfer degree to facilitate student transfer (AS-2645-04/AA) and has worked to ensure the legislation’s successful implementation (AS-2998-11/AA/APEP, AS-3111-13/APEP/AA); and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU note that SB 440 (Padilla) Public Postsecondary Education: Student Transfer Achievement Act, through its requirement that any student completing an approved transfer associate degree automatically be eligible for admission (and 60-unit degree completion guarantee) to all options/concentrations within a given academic program in the California State University (CSU), jeopardizes and potentially nullifies the considerable progress made on the implementation of SB 1440 to date by:

  • Making it necessary for faculty to revisit all associate degrees for transfer linked to a CSU degree with multiple options/concentrations;
  • Potentially reducing the number of degree pathways available by eliminating transfer opportunities for those CSU degrees where an associate degree could not be developed capable of serving all options/concentrations;

In addition, implementation of the changes imposed by the bill would place a significant financial burden on the community colleges and the CSU that would then need to be reimbursed by the state; and be it further,

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU oppose SB 440 at least until  language requiring that associate transfer degrees in a given major field be accepted for all options within that CSU major be eliminated from the bill, and be it further

RESOLVED: That this resolution be distributed to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees of the CSU; Senator Padilla, Chairs of the following committees: Senate Appropriation and Budget Committees; Assembly Appropriation and Budget Committees, Senate Education Committee, Assembly Higher Education Committee, Assembly Budget Sub-Committee on Education Finance; and the Legislative Leadership.

RATIONALE: The intention of the Student Transfer Agreement Reform Act, SB 1440 (Padilla) from September 2010 is facilitate student transfer between California’s community colleges and the CSU and the timely completion of the baccalaureate degree for such transfer students. This is to be accomplished through the development of programmatically-based associate transfer degrees by the community colleges that would then be accepted as fulfilling 60 units of the undergraduate degree requirements in related programs within the CSU.  The original SB 1440 language contained sufficient flexibility to accommodate the diversity of programs and their requirements but requiring that the transfer degree apply to at least one, but not necessarily all options, or areas of specialization, within a degree program. 

SB 440, if enacted, would require that any such associate transfer degrees apply to all options within a degree program.  Rather than further facilitating SB 1440 implementation, this requirement would likely undermine the considerable progress that has already been made by:

  • Making it necessary for faculty to revisit all associate degrees for transfer linked to a CSU degree with multiple options/concentrations;
  • Potentially reducing the number of degree pathways available by eliminating transfer opportunities for those CSU degrees where an associate degree could not be developed capable of serving all options/concentrations;
  • Increasing SB 1440 implementation costs, given that the changes imposed by the bill would place a significant financial burden on the community colleges and the CSU that would the need be reimbursed by the state;

Moreover, it has the potential of reducing the number of transfer degree options should it not prove possible to develop workable transfer degree programs suitable to all options within an area of study.

At this point it is not clear that the problem SB 440 is intended to address actually exists in a significant way. The major of the benefits SB 440 would provide to students are already available under the existing SB 1440 implementation process, and as explained in a letter dated May 6, 2013 from ASCSU Chair Diana Guerin to the bill author (attached), a large number of transfer degree pathways have already been developed under the existing process.  At best, SB 440 is premature; the Legislative Analyst notes in its May, 2012 progress report on SB 1440 implementation that data from several more admission cycles will be necessary before the effectiveness of the current process can be determined.

Approved Unanimously – May 17, 2013

 



 
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