Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed SB 412 by Senator Steven M. Glazer (D-Orinda) and AB 1741 by Assemblymembers Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) and Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) creating “promise” programs at several community college and California State University (CSU) campuses to help more students graduate in four years.
Additionally, the Governor commended the CSU Board of Trustees for approving a new 2025 Graduation Initiative today that aims to more than double the number of students graduating in four years to 40 percent.
“These bills, coupled with today’s action from the CSU trustees, create conditions that allow students to timely graduate and avoid the burden of extra tuition,” said Governor Brown.
SB 412 guarantees priority registration and academic advising to students pledging to take 30 units per year (or quarter equivalents) at select campuses. The bill prioritizes Pell-eligible and first-generation students as well as students from underrepresented areas of the state. Community college students with an associate degree for transfer will also be guaranteed these services at all participating campuses.
“Many students at the CSU want to finish in four years, but they need help in charting the path,” said Senator Glazer, who served on the CSU Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2015. “This bill directs resources to students who likely need the most help and will boost their chances of getting a bachelor's degree in four years.”
Inspired by several promise programs already underway in California, as well as the Obama Administration’s focus on community colleges, AB 1741 creates a $15 million grant program to further incentivize community college districts to establish local promise programs that will spur more robust pathways and partnerships between K-12, community colleges and four-year colleges, as well as leverage philanthropic and other local sources of funding.
“California has pioneered nationally-recognized College Promise programs. AB 1741 will empower community college districts across the state to prepare students early and set them on a path towards a meaningful career,” said Assemblymember Rodriguez. “I am excited to bring this opportunity to areas like Pomona and Ontario, where there is a clear need. Students here and throughout the state will greatly benefit from the preparation and guidance offered by California’s College Promise.”
In addition to its focus on improving four-year graduation rates, the CSU’s 2025 Graduation Initiative also prioritizes eliminating achievement gaps among students over the next several years. To help support CSU’s efforts to update and achieve these new 2025 goals, the 2016-17 state budget allocates $35 million in one-time funding.
The Governor today also announced that he has signed the following higher education bills:
· AB 526 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) – Pupils: attendance at community college.
· AB 801 by Assemblymember Richard H. Bloom (D-Santa Monica) – Postsecondary education: Success for Homeless Youth in Higher Education Act.
· AB 1449 by Assemblymember Patty Lopez (D-San Fernando) – Student financial aid: California Community College Transfer Cal Grant Entitlement Program.
· AB 2164 by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) – Public postsecondary education: tuition and fees.
· SB 906 by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) – Public postsecondary education: priority enrollment systems.
SB 1314 by Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego) – Cal Grant Program: Middle Class Scholarship Program: community college baccalaureate degree program students.