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Representatives from Southwestern College (Courtesy photo)

Three San Diego Community Colleges Honored for Excellence in Transfer

Sacramento CA— The Campaign for College Opportunity together with the California Business Roundtable honored three local San Diego community colleges on June 2nd in Sacramento for being statewide leaders in significantly increasing the number of students earning an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT).

California’s ADT program, established by the STAR Act in 2010 – authored by Secretary of State Alex Padilla when he was in the Senate – cuts through redundant requirements that created unnecessary hurdles for students seeking to transfer from a community college to a CSU campus. The majority of the 2.3 million students who enroll in California community colleges say they intend to transfer to a four-year university to receive a bachelor’s degree, but only 4% transfer annually.

As detailed in Keeping the Promise: Going the Distance on Transfer Reform, a strong framework for improving transfers has been built since the bill’s enactment. The number of ADT earners has nearly doubled annually, coordination between CSU and community colleges has improved, and more students have benefitted from the admissions guarantee to a CSU campus.
“Tonight we are so pleased to honor transformative campus leaders who have paved the way to ensure that ALL students have a path to reach their college dreams. Their tireless dedication to strengthening the path into and through college will benefit generations to come,” said Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity.

San Diego Mesa College conferred 691 Associate Degrees for Transfer in 2014-15, ranking it 1st among the 113 California Community Colleges in terms of ADT production. Mesa grew ADT production by 367 degrees from the 2013-14 academic year, a 113% increase and the largest numeric increase of all community colleges in the state.

Grossmont College conferred 473 Associate Degrees for Transfer in 2014-15, ranking it 9th among the 113 California Community Colleges in terms of ADT production. Grossmont grew ADT production by 157 degrees from the 2013-14 academic year.

Southwestern College conferred 407 Associate Degrees for Transfer in 2014-15. Southwestern grew ADT production by 236 degrees from the 2013-14 academic year, a 138% increase which represents the largest percent increase among the top ADT producing (over 400 ADTs annually) California Community Colleges.

Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable and co-host of the Sacramento event concluded the evening by thanking the night’s honorees for all they do to strengthen California’s businesses.

The sixteen colleges and universities honored for excellence in transfer included:

San Diego Mesa College               Citrus College                   Cabrillo College
Orange Coast College                 Sierra College                 Glendale Community College
Moorpark College                     Grossmont College         CSU Fullerton
Diablo Valley College                Southwestern College  CSU Long Beach
Pasadena City College                Bakersfield College        CSU Sacramento
Fullerton College

Secretary of State Alex Padilla accepted the “Champion of Higher Education” award for authoring the original legislation creating the Associate Degrees for Transfer and for remaining committed to full implementation of the new degree program. Dolores Huerta, civil rights and labor leader, was awarded a “Champion of Higher Education” award for her tireless work to improve college opportunity for underserved communities.