Community College Reforms Headed to Governor

California’s community colleges began the fall term this week on a low note, having slashed course offerings in response to severe funding cuts and with thousands of students on waiting lists for classes.

But the system received a dose of good news Thursday when a bill aimed at improving graduation and transfer rates was approved by the state Legislature.

The bill, SB 1456 and known as the Student Success Act of 2012, was approved in the Senate by a vote of 36 to 1 after having passed the Assembly on Tuesday by a unanimous vote. It is now headed to the governor’s desk.

The bill was authored by state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach).

If signed into law, it would initiate a number of significant reforms for the two-year college system.

These include:

— providing students with orientation, assessment, placement and counseling services;

— requiring students to identify an educational goal, such as a degree or a certificate for transfer to a four-year university;

— requiring students who qualify for a Board of Governors fee waiver to make satisfactory academic progress, and

— mandating campuses that receive student support service funds post scorecards with completion rates for all students and progress in closing achievement gaps among ethnic groups.

Via Carla Rivera, The Los Angeles Times.

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