The agreements give California community college students who complete a transfer-focused associate’s degree guaranteed admission to schools that include Bennett College in North Carolina, Tuskegee University in Alabama and Wiley College in Texas. While California Community Colleges has long maintained transfer agreements with the California State University and University of California systems, the partnership with out-of-state private colleges is unprecedented.
“It provides a special opportunity especially for African Americans or other students of color,” said Brice Harris, California Community Colleges chancellor. “There are more people that want to complete that bachelor’s degree because increasingly, that’s what the market is demanding.”
Representatives from the nine historically black institutions praised the initiative as “truly a dream come true” during a signing event in Sacramento on Tuesday. It is the first time the black colleges and universities have reached a transfer agreement with an entire community college system.
Besides giving California community college students another path to four-year schools, the agreements can help historically black schools that have struggled to maintain enrollment in recent years as other universities have worked to diversify and black students have more education options….
Wiley College President Haywood Strickland said his school was attracted by the high caliber of students available in California….
The new transfer program was welcomed by many in California, including Ahkilah Harper, a Solano Community College student. Harper, 27, of Oakland now hopes to transfer to Tuskegee University to study nursing after originally considering California State University, Sacramento. “But since this door has been opened, I definitely want to take advantage of this while I can,” she said.
Kristan Venegas, an associate professor of clinical education at the University of Southern California, said the new program is a welcome respite for California’s crowded campuses and gives African American students another option.
The new transfer program gives clarity and transparency to the admissions process. In addition to an associate’s degree for transfer or a minimum of 30 transferable units, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA to qualify for guaranteed placement.
“With this being determined, this outlines specifically what they need to do,” said Tony Davis, a staff adviser for the Black Student Union at Sacramento City College. “If they’re determined to transfer, they’re going to meet that standard to achieve. There’s no gray area or misunderstanding.”
Davis described historically black schools as having a “more nurturing environment.”
“They’ll get a lot more one-on-one attention,” he said. “Where at those larger schools, they may not get that one-on-one attention to help them get where they want to go.”
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