For Chris Walsh, finances had a lot to do with determining where he plans to get a bachelor’s degree. Some universities were out of reach financially for Walsh, but he knew that getting an education at a California State University was possible. The question then became what’s the best way to get there?
“For me it was by getting an Associate Degree for Transfer,”said Walsh, who was the student senate president at Crafton Hills College and the student trustee for the San Bernardino Community College District.
It’s true. Because of the partnership forged between the California Community College and California State University systems that created the Associate Degree for Transfer program, Walsh has already been accepted as a junior for the summer term at California State University, San Bernardino and the classes he took at Crafton Hills College applied directly to his bachelor’s degree requirements.
The California Community Colleges and the California State University system have a new program that simplifies the transfer process for community college students wanting to continue their education at the California State University. For the first time, community college students who complete an associate degree designated for transfer are guaranteed admission to the California State University system with junior status and will be given priority consideration when applying to a California State University campus and to a particular program that is designated as similar to the student’s community college major. And with many of the CSU campuses only accepting students with these special transfer diplomas this spring due to budget cuts, working toward this goal has never been more important.
Walsh said he’s taking a pair of political science courses this summer at CSU San Bernardino to get a jump on his bachelor’s degree in political science. Since Crafton Hills did not offer political science courses,Walsh said he was allowed to transfer using his AA-T in sociology degree.
Walsh was eager to move on to a CSU, but research shows that approximately 50,000 students annually transfer to a state university with an average of 80 semester units when only 60 are needed. The Associate Degree for Transfer program keeps students on a pathway that helps prevent students from taking unnecessary classes.
“I’m glad I stopped by and spoke with our vice president of instruction because she was the one who told me about the transfer program,”Walsh said. “I think it’s a great program and I’m glad it was available to me. It’s already helping.”