Response to SB 1785 (Scott and Alpert): Public Postsecondary Education: Dual Admission Programs

AS-2651-04/AA - March 11-12, 2004

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (CSU) cannot support SB 1785 as currently written; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU share interest of the authors of SB 1785 to facilitate student progress but urge that the authors provide only broad outlines to help ensure that community college students who wish to earn a baccalaureate degree at a campus of the CSU are able to do so; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU affirm that the complex curricular concerns-especially admission requirements-involved with a program such as that outlined in the current version of the bill are the proper domain of the faculty who deal most directly with the issues involved; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge the legislature to appropriate sufficient funding for the additional time, consultation, advertising, and advising by faculty and staff necessary to implement any new initiatives; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU request that this resolution be forwarded to the California State Legislature.

RATIONALE: SB 1785 has the stated goal of ensuring that community college students who wish to earn a baccalaureate degree at a campus of the CSU are able to do so. To facilitate the goal, the bill calls for a new transfer admission priority category coupled with a model core lower-division transfer curriculum for each degree program.

Sharing the Legislature's concern, the CSU has current campus-based, as well as statewide, initiatives exemplified by the systemwide project on lower-division requirements in the major (POL) and the specific plans developed by campuses to facilitate students' achievement of the baccalaureate degree.

The bill as written has several problems, foremost of which is the detailed requirements that were not developed by or even in consultation with the faculty of the CSU. Additionally, no appropriation is indicated for the tremendous amount of additional work required of faculty and staff to implement a large-scale initiative such as that envisioned in the bill.

Further, ambiguities in the proposed legislation make for various interpretations that may actually impede student progress to degree:

  1. b.1 refers to a "community college transfer program"; however, it is not clear what program existing or proposed is referred to.
  2. b.2 the lack of appropriation also does not anticipate the cost of creating and staffing new courses at the California Community Colleges (CCC) or the CSU.
  3. b.3 could be interpreted as a requirement to accept courses as fully transferable to the degree even if those courses are not appropriate to the degree or, conversely, that no units which are not fully transferable to the degree could be accepted for transfer.
  4. b.4 extends the ambiguity by requiring that CCC students may "know and meet the same or similar degree course requirements as counterpart freshmen and sophomores who begin their study at CSU." This section may be read as an indication that similar rather than fully comparable, articulated courses will be accepted for degree credit.
  5. c.4, and repeated in g.3, sets a criterion for priority transfer: "have met all general education requirements specified for the declared major"; requiring completion of all general education will not best serve the students pursuing certain degree programs.
  6. f.1 the roles of the respective system authorities (CSU Chancellor, CCC Academic Senate) are not clear. Approval of courses for articulation is subject to long-standing processes in the CSU.
  7. 4 amendment of any admissions policy must be subject to consultation with the faculty.
  8. 4.g is mute on guaranteed admission but assumes that students will be admissible so that they may meet "any specific course requirements beyond the common 45 units that are specified by the CSU destination campus."
In item 8, for example, it is not clear whether transfer priority or the guarantee of full transfer is portable to another campus if the student's campus of choice is impacted. The need is not, however, for greater specification in the bill but for, at most, a general framework where such specific implementation details devolve to the faculty and administration of the CSU.


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