New transfer degrees open university seats

Students planning on transferring to California State Universities can guarantee admission by earning an Associate Degree for Transfer, or AA-T.

Students planning on transferring to California State Universities can guarantee admission by earning
an Associate Degree for Transfer, or AA-T.

Student journalists statewide were briefed on Feb. 19 on the CSU and California community colleges’ combined efforts to create a transfer degree program that would ease community college students into the CSU of their choice and, eventually supersede all other transfers.


Erik Skinner, deputy chancellor of the California Community Colleges’ Chancellor’s Office, announced that 557 Associate Degrees for Transfer that are directly linked with corresponding degrees at CSU schools are now being offered at California community colleges.


Students who earn one of the available AA-T or AS-T degrees are guaranteed a seat at a CSU campus, after which, they only need to take 60 additional units within that major to earn a bachelor’s degree.


Ephraim Smith, CSU executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer, said that last fall 120 students were accepted to CSU through the new transfer program.


“Over time we would hope that most of the students would come directly from high school to community college in the pathway so that way they would start seeing the savings in credit hours attempted by students at the community college,” said Smith.


The changes that have been made began when Senate Bill 1440, created by Senator Alex Padilla, was passed.


SB 1440 states that CSU and California community colleges need to develop streamlined transfer degrees and corresponding courses need to be made available at the CSU and community colleges.


Officials believe that the transfer program will prevent community college students from over-preparing or taking classes that are not necessary for their desired major. It is also expected to make courses directly transferrable to the CSU, so that students will not have to take courses that are essentially the same as what they took in community college.


“The long and short of it is that those inefficiencies in both the lower division and upper division were corrected through senate bill 1440,” Skinner said, “This initiative is going to achieve significant efficiencies in both systems.”


The program is expected to reduce excess units, which will generate approximately $160 million annually in savings.


This amounts to roughly 40,000 new spots for students at community colleges and 14,000 new spots at CSU schools.


Of the 112 California community colleges, Citrus College ranks second in transfer reform, surpassed only by Fullerton College, according to a report released by The Campaign for College Opportunity.


Citrus currently offers 13 approved AA-T and AS-T `degrees with one degree in the approval process.


According to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s  Office Board of Governors, the goal is for 80 percent of all associate degrees for transfer to be offered by the fall of 2013 and 100 percent by the fall of 2014.


Students wishing to learn more can visit or contact one of Citrus’ counselors at (626) 914-8530 or