10 Years After Historic Transfer Reform: How far have we come and where do we need to go?
Transfer from California’s community colleges to its public universities has long been central to the state’s higher education system. Though most of the 2.2 million community college students intend to transfer, fewer than half do so within six years of their initial enrollment.
A low transfer rate is bad news for California. The state’s economy needs 1.65 million more college degrees and credentials by 2030 in order to meet workforce demand, and 70 percent of all college students in California attend a community college. Most of those students are Latinx, Black, and students from several Asian subgroups.
If the majority of students in college in California are in our community colleges and the majority of those students belong to racial/ethnic groups with low bachelor’s degree attainment, then improving transfer is key to producing the bachelor’s degrees we need. That is why in 2010, the Campaign for College Opportunity sponsored historic legislation to create the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) and significantly increase the number of students who transfer with a degree in hand and earn junior standing at the California State University (CSU).
In the 10 years since the creation of the ADT—or as it is often called, a “Degree with a Guarantee”—the system has awarded 217,611 ADTs.
- • 119,505 Associate of Art for Transfer degrees have been awarded.
• 98,106 Associate of Science for Transfer degrees have been awarded.
• In 2019, 23,295 students enrolled at a Cal State University campus with an ADT in hand, and the proportion
of transfer students enrolling on a guaranteed path is growing annually.
• Transfer students on the ADT guaranteed pathway have doubled since 2015, from 11 percent to 23 percent
• The growth in ADTs has driven recent growth in associate’s degree production in California.
• 41 percent of Latinx Associate’s Degree earners earned ADTs, the highest share for any racial group. Read more