Community college degrees with guarantees

California community college students wanting to eventually attend a four-year university now have a better chance at being accepted into schools due to a recently created program. 

Students enrolled in community colleges in California have been given an opportunity for easier admission into state schools once they receive their associate degree. A new program called A Degree with a Guarantee is helping students with this. It has doubled the statistics of transfers from community colleges to state schools in California in only a year, proving its success rates. The new program guarantees students a priority transfer from a community college to a California state school granted that they received their associate of arts or science degree to transfer while being enrolled in the transfer program. 

Although it isn’t a complete guarantee to their no. 1 school, it does raise their chances of acceptance. Students are eligible for a GPA boost if they’re transferring to an impacted state school out of their local area or into an impacted major that’s deemed similar to what they received their associates degree in. Students are then able to start right away at the 60-unit junior standing and can then graduate with a bachelor degree with only 60 more units to go. This creates more opportunities for transfer students, which they may not have had before. 

Media Representative Mike Uhlenkamp of the California state university system sees good things coming from this new program.

“This is a preferred pathway for students to transfer from community colleges to state universities,” said Uhlenkamp. “We are starting to see an increase in students using this program which is a positive outlook for California.”

There are 112 community colleges in California participating in the program and 23 state universities in California that connect with the community college transfer program. Sonoma State is included in that demographic. 

According to state figures, of the 11,673 students who earned an Associate Degree for Transfer in 2013-14, 6,905 of them chose to continue on and transfer to a state university with the transfer program. That was a 100 percent increase when compared to the 2012-13 academic year showing the degree with a guarantee is steadily growing and making a difference in educational opportunities. A recent transfer student from Santa Rosa Junior College, Emily Semans, didn’t use the degree with a guarantee program. 

“Transferring from SRJC was pretty easy as far as paperwork, but getting into the communications major was only because of my GPA and because I transferred from a local school,” said Semans. “It’s a hard and impacted program to get into so I’m thankful for the chance to study here.”

Semans is one of the people who didn’t have a difficult time transferring to Sonoma State. But for people who do have a difficult time, the degree with a guarantee program was created mainly for them to assist in furthering their higher education. 

Those attending community colleges who are receiving their Associate Degree for Transfer and are interested in the program should contact their counselors and visit the degree with a guarantee website for more information.