At the Fall 2017 ASCCC Plenary Session, the delegates passed Resolution 15.01, Aligning Transfer Pathways for the California State University and the University of California Systems. The resolution states,
Whereas, Preparing students to transfer into baccalaureate degree programs is one of the primary missions of the California community colleges;
Whereas, The majority of transfer students are transferring to either a California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) campus, and colleges must develop courses that satisfy the expectations of and articulate to both systems;
Whereas, Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADTs) that guarantee student admission to the CSU system do not always align with the major preparation expected by UC campuses outlined in the UC Transfer Pathways (UCTP) for 21 majors; and
Whereas, The different expectations from the UC and CSU systems for transfer students often force students to choose which system they plan to transfer to, which could limit their options when they are ready to transfer;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges strongly encourage local senates and curriculum committees to maintain sufficient rigor in all courses to ensure that they will articulate for students transferring to the California State University or University of California systems; and
Resolved; That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with the Academic Senates of the California State University and the University of California to identify a single pathway in each of the majors with an Associate Degree for Transfer to ensure that students will be prepared to transfer into either the California State University or the University of California systems. 
Prior to the passage of the resolution, the ASCCC worked with the University of California Academic Senate to create University of California Transfer Pathway, or UCTP, associate degrees in physics and chemistry that align the UCTP major’s preparation with general education specified in Title 5 sufficient to grant an associate degree. Students who earn this degree with a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major are guaranteed admission to the UC system in the same way that students who earn an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) with a minimum GPA of 2.0 are guaranteed admission to the CSU system, as clarified in the Chancellor’s Office memo dated July 9, 2019, AA 19-27 (California Community Colleges Chancellors’ Office, 2019).
A memorandum of understanding dated April 10, 2018 between the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the University of California’s Office of the President further stipulates that, among many other things,
The UC Transfer Pathways solve the problem of preparing for applying to multiple campuses, but they do not confer a degree. Recognizing that an associate degree is a significant milestone valued by students and their families, which also helps with students’ academic planning as they progress toward a bachelor’s degree, the UC Academic Senate will continue to work with the CCC Academic Senate to develop associate degrees based on the UC Transfer Pathway requirements that will aim to adhere to the 60 unit maximum at both institutions where possible…
The leadership of the two segments will work together to identify and secure the necessary resources…
Further, UCOP and the CCCCO will convene a task force consisting of senior leadership as well as campus administrators, academic senate representatives, and students to monitor the implementation. (Enhancing Student Transfer, 2018)
Thus, the advice and judgment of the ASCCC fueled action by the CCC Chancellor’s Office to facilitate the alignment of lower division major’s preparation between the California Community Colleges and the other two public sectors of higher education in the state.
For the last year, the ASCCC has worked with its intersegmental colleagues through the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates (ICAS) to align lower division expectations of students such that completion of a single degree pathway will allow students to transfer to either CSU or UC. This work has been difficult. The ASCCC has identified seven disciplines with near or perfect alignment: anthropology, history, sociology, business administration, philosophy, economics and mathematics. For these seven majors, either nothing needs to change with the transfer model curricula used for ADTs or only minor changes are required. These aligned major preparations are currently being vetted through the disciplines for input to inform the work of the ASCCC.
Three other disciplines—chemistry, physics and engineering—are clearly outside the limit of 60 units set forth for ADTs in California Education Code but do align with national standards for the discipline as appropriate. These majors are examples of the few disciplines in which students are not expected to complete their entire general education requirements during the first two years of a traditional four-year plan. The UCTP associate degrees in chemistry and physics reflect preparation that is better aligned with national standards. The model curriculum in engineering was mutually agreed to by the CSU and CCC faculty in the discipline, and the CSU Academic Senate recommended that students who complete such model curriculum be afforded the same rights and privileges as those who complete an ADT. This model curriculum also aligns with the UCTP in electrical and mechanical engineering.
The ASCCC must, just as with local academic senates, ensure the effective participation of all who wish to be involved in aligning these preparations, particularly discipline experts from all systems. However just as with local academic senates, the authority of Title 5 §53200, colloquially known as the 10+1, lies with the Academic Senate in terms of curriculum, degree and certificate requirements, and standards and policies regarding student preparation and success. All degrees and their requirements are the responsibility of the ASCCC and the delegates that drive the organization’s actions through the resolution process. The ASCCC continues to work with CSU and UC colleagues to facilitate the equal treatment of community college students to that of native students in the other systems.
The ASCCC has provided the advice and judgment of the faculty to the CCC Chancellor’s Office with a recommendation that the Education Code be amended to support this effort. In particular, Education Code §§66745-66749.7, which outline the associate degrees for transfer, should be amended to do the following:
- Include both CSU and UC as part of the intention for ADTs;
- Permit in very limited circumstances unit thresholds greater than 60 for associate degrees—such as physics, chemistry, and engineering listed above—with the understanding that students may still complete a bachelor’s degree in 120 total units; and
- Ensure intrasegmental portability of units.
In addition, the ASCCC has recommended a one-time budget allocation of $18.1M that may be spent over five years in order to do the following:
- Provide transfer support resources for each CSU and UC campus;
- Provide appropriate support in the system offices of the CCC and the CSU to facilitate transfer; and
- Fund an intersegmental, discipline-specific dialogue and professional development that brings together faculty from the CCCs, CSUs, and UCs to discuss emerging discipline trends that need to be reflected in curricular design, ensures consistent transfer expectations and pedagogical alignment among the public higher education systems of California, improves articulation processes, and allows the opportunity for interdisciplinary, intersegmental dialogue for related disciplines.
At the December 2019 meeting of the Chancellor’s Office Consultation Council, representatives from the Community College League of California, the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, the CCC Chief Instructional Officers, and the CCC Chief Student Services Officers all expressed support for this effort. Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley agreed the effort is important for the system and its students.
In addition, the ASCCC has identified longstanding problems with the implementation processes of current Education Code language. The current structure has multiple disciplines waiting for review and has led to significant delays because of the difficulty in identifying CSU faculty reviewers. Eighteen disciplines a year or more are behind schedule in the TMC curricular review process.  Known issues include the identification of similar degrees by the CSU system, lack of space for transfer students in impacted majors, and concerns regarding how some policies, in an effort to foster collegiality, have become a hindrance to students’ progress and success.
The ASCCC looks forward to working with the CCC Chancellor’s Office and the UC and CSU system offices and with intersegmental senate colleagues to have honest and open dialogue about the issues and to pursue solutions that ensure the equal treatment of all students. The intersegmental dialogue requested in the budget can further advance this collective work to allow the segments of higher education in California to serve all students to the best of their collective ability.
California Community Colleges Chancellors’ Office. (2019, July 9). UC Guaranteed Transfer Pathways in Chemistry and Physics. Memorandum. Accessed at https://www.c-id.net/uc-transfer-pathways.
Enhancing Student Transfer—A Memorandum of Understanding Between the California Community Colleges and the University of California. (2018). Accessed at https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/sites/default/files/UC-CCC-MOU.p….
1. The resolution can be found at https://asccc.org/resolutions/aligning-transfer-pathways-california-sta….
2. See the Descriptor Review Schedule at https://asccc.org/sites/default/files/V.%20E.%20%281%29%20TMC_Descripto….