Gov Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that next fall will allow students a streamlined, well-defined path for transfer from a community college to California State University, Fresno and the other California State University campuses.

The bill, signed Wednesday, Sept. 29, had the support of CSU Chancellor Charles Reed, Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott, the Campaign for College Opportunity, California State Student Association and Student Senate of the California Community Colleges.

Bernard Vinovrski, Fresno State’s associate vice president for Enrollment Services, said, “For the first time, students beginning at a California community college will have road map to follow.”

Students who follow that course to an associate’s degree will avoid taking classes that aren’t applicable to the bachelor’s degree from a four-year university, Vinovrski added, “and will undoubtedly shorten time to earn their BA.”

The statute establishes a transfer Associate of Arts (AA) for those students who have completed 60 transferrable units. Students who obtain the transfer AA will be admitted to the CSU with junior standing.

The CSU and community colleges estimate millions of dollars in savings by eliminating excess units that transfer students often accumulate in completing their degree. By simplifying the transfer process, seats are freed for other students, allowing both systems to serve 50,000 more students.

Students at Fresno State and elsewhere worked hard to gain legislative support for the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (STAR Act).

Selena Farnesi, a junior majoring in philosophy and anthropology who is executive vice president of Associated Students Inc., said enacting the legislation “is a huge victory for us, and we were strong advocates for its passage.”

She and other Fresno State students traveled twice to Sacramento to advocate for the legislation last spring.

Chancellor Reed said, “This is a watershed moment for future college students across the state of California, who will now be able to more easily reach their goal of attaining a bachelor’s degree.”

Companion legislation signed by the governor implements the same transfer system between community colleges and the University of California

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