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College Transfer Bill Helping Community College Students Earn Diploma

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Students at community colleges in California are getting a chance to make their dreams of a diploma a reality. A piece of legislation went into effect at the start of the year.

Senate Bill 440 deals with community college students, and helps them transfer into Cal State schools. It builds off of legislation that is already in place, and the idea is to make it even easier for students to make that jump.

Jeremy Espinoza is about to start his journey through college, hoping to earn a degree in political science or international business. He'll soon start at Allan Hancock, and in a couple years hopes to transfer out to a 4-year university to finish up.

"That's why I'm starting here at community college. Eventually get my foot down, and eventually transfer," says Espinoza.

For students like Jeremy, knowing what major you want to enter into is a huge plus when it comes to Senate Bill 440. The bill makes some changes to existing legislation, which allows students who earn their associates degree to transfer to a Cal State University with guaranteed graduation in 2 years. Senate Bill 440 requires community colleges to develop more transferable associate degrees, and Cal State schools to accept more.

Dave DeGroot, Articulation Director at Allan Hancock College, says community colleges will see challenges in making more transferable degrees.

"Some of these degrees we may not be able to do. We're going to have to tell the powers that be that we can't do them, or we're going to have to figure out how to do them," says DeGroot.

Although it'll be a challenge, DeGroot says it's well worth the effort.

"What we want to do is offer the students as many options as possible for transfer," he says.

For students like Jeremy, any help in getting a degree is much needed.

"There's so much already for us. All the help we can get just to bring down that stress to get good grades in school, it helps the whole way."

Allan Hancock College currently has about 7 associate degrees for transfer that apply to this. They'll have 13 starting next academic year and possibly 20 in the years ahead.


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