Academic Senate

SB 1440 - The STAR Act


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James Postma (Chico)

The SB 1440 Implementation Oversight Committee (IOC) met in mid-November and the Intersegmental Curriculum Workgroup (ICW) met prior to that, so this article contains a few updates from my report in the October Faculty to Faculty newsletter.

The first item on the IOC agenda was the presentation of a report from the Campaign for College Opportunity (http://www.collegecampaign.org/,) a political group that provided much of the impetus for the creation and passage of SB 1440.  The report was entitled, Meeting Compliance, but Missing the Mark, which gives you a summary of the report’s “findings.”

The Report paralleled much or the Legislative Analyst’s Report (referenced in my previous report, see link below) and noted the significant accomplishments of the ICW in developing the 22 Transfer Model Curricula which have led to 608 transfer-AA (or AS) degrees which link to 337 degrees with the 23 CSU campuses.  While the LAO and others in the CSU and community college systems have acknowledged this as an unexpected feat on the part of the faculty, the Campaign found fault, basing its “missing the mark” analysis on the fact that there are many options within the CSU majors that have not been deemed “similar.”  From the Campaign’s perspective, the 724 options (within the 337 degrees) missed the goal of SB 1440 in spite of the fact that SB 1440 addressed only degrees and not options.  (The ICW had agreed early on that the goal was at least one option per degree while hoping for a fit for all options.)  The CSU faculty are evaluating the options that have not yet been determined to be “similar” (370 by the Campaign’s count) to see if they can work under the tight constraints of SB 1440.

IOC’s members challenged the Campaign staff who were present, noting that the 4 goals of SB 1440: 1) A 60-unit Transfer-AA or AS degree, 2) a guarantee of admission to the CSU, 3) admission priority to a local CSU campus, and 4) a 60-unit pathway to a bachelor’s degree had been significantly met.

The IOC also received the first report on student admissions to the CSU under SB 1440’s priority system.  For fall 2012, 120 students were admitted with Transfer-AA degrees in 6 different subject areas, predominantly psychology, communication studies, and sociology, the first of the TMCs to be developed and approved.  It is difficult to extrapolate this single experience to future performance as many more degrees have been added since the fall admission cycle and the CSU admission goals have fluctuated with the passage of Proposition 30.

The IOC also heard an update from the CCC staff who are working on communication issues.  Most of this information can be found at the websites cited below.

Websites with more background and detail for referenced issues include:

  1. The STAR Act
  2. Additional detail on the legislation
  3. An update of completed Transfer Model Curricula
  4. LAO report on SB 1440
  5. Campaign for College Opportunity, Meeting Compliance but Missing the Mark

For more information on SB 1440, contact Jim Postma.