UPDATE ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SB 1440: STUDENT TRANSFER
INFORMATION AND REPORTS
Presentation: Linda Michalowski, Vice Chancellor, Student Services and Special Programs
Barry Russell, Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs
Jane Patton, President, Academic Senate for California Community Colleges
This item provides a status update on the implementation of Senate Bill 1440 (Padilla 2010), the Student
Transfer Achievement Reform Act.
Senate Bill (SB) 1440 was unanimously passed by the California Legislature in August 2010, signed
into law the following month by Governor Schwarzenegger, and went into effect on January 1,
2011. As previously shared with the Board, this legislation is significant in that it accomplishes two
important goals – preparing students for transfer to the California State University (CSU) while also
awarding a California community college associate degree. SB 1440 goes even further in that it
provides for guaranteed admission to the CSU system at junior standing, eliminates the repeat of
similar courses at the upper division level, and recognizes the associate degree as the measure of
preparation and readiness for transfer to CSU.
Since the last update to the Board in January 2011, work continues to meet the requirement of
SB 1440 that all colleges have degrees available for students to pursue beginning in the fall 2011
term. Chancellor Scott, working in close coordination with CSU Chancellor Charlie Reed, created an
SB 1440 Implementation and Oversight Committee, co-chaired by Executive Vice Chancellor Erik
Skinner and CSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Ephraim Smith. The
committee has met regularly since its inception, with the most recent meeting held in mid-April,
and the next meeting scheduled at the end of May.
The Chancellor’s Office continues to work closely with the Statewide Academic Senate to inform
and engage community college administrators and faculty in preparations to implement the bill.
Student Services and Academic Affairs staffs actively participate on an Intersegmental Curriculum
Workgroup, led by Statewide Academic Senate President Jane Patton, to address curriculum-related
implementation issues between the two segments.
As reported to the Board in January, it was decided early in the implementation process to utilize a
strategy establishing a statewide Transfer Model Curriculum (TMC) for each of the most common
120-unit transfer majors. This has been a mechanism to involve discipline faculty from both
community colleges and the CSU in developing degree templates that will result in similarity among
the degrees being offered by most colleges, with assurance that they will be honored as effective
preparation for each major by most CSU campuses. Utilizing the existing infrastructure of the
Course Identification Numbering (C-ID) System (www.c-id.net) developed through a grant from
Student Services to address common course numbering mandates, a significant number of
discipline faculty from both segments have met at fall and spring events to identify the components
of a community college associate degree that both stands on its own and ensures strong transfer
preparation. Each TMC identifies at least 18 units in a major, generally including two common
courses and additional courses selected by each college from a menu of options to allow for both
statewide consistency and local flexibility based on local program emphasis and existing course
offerings. Once a TMC has been drafted, it is then circulated to all of the CSU and community
college faculty in the discipline for review and comment before it is modified and finalized.
To date, TMCs in Communication Studies, Mathematics, Psychology, and Sociology have been
completed, and TMCs are expected to be introduced this spring for Geology, Physics, Theatre,
History, Criminal Justice, and Early Childhood Education. In addition, work has begun on all of the
remaining top 20 transfer majors to CSU that meet the SB 1440 criteria.
During March, the CSU Chancellor’s Office forwarded the first set of finalized TMCs to their
campuses and upon initial review 21 campuses responded. Of these, 18 CSUs declared at least one
major “similar” to the TMC for Communication Studies, 19 to the TMC for Psychology and 20 to the
TMC in Sociology. By declaring a major “similar” the CSU is agreeing that a student who transfers
with a TMC-based degree in one of these majors can graduate from the CSU within 60 additional
units. SB 1440 requires that CSU give priority admission to students with an associate degree for
transfer in a major deemed similar to a CSU major. This mapping to similar CSU majors will
continue to ensure “similar” designations are achieved with as many CSU campuses as possible
within these majors and the other majors soon to follow.
Community colleges, using the four approved TMC templates, are beginning to submit degree proposals
for Chancellor’s Office review. The first degrees have been approved and more are in the pipeline.
College of the Desert earns recognition for being the first community college in California to gain
approval for SB 1440 degrees, in Communication Studies, Sociology and Psychology. Approved
degrees are effective for the fall 2011 term, with the possibility that students pursuing an SB 1440
degree may begin applying for CSU admission as early as spring 2012.
Other key accomplishments since January include numerous presentations and webinars to solicit
and share implementation information, the distribution of sample catalog language to colleges to
alert students about the new degrees, and initial development of a joint CCC/CSU SB 1440 website
to facilitate communication to faculty and staff. To ensure continued success and implementation
progress, the Implementation and Oversight Committee has been working diligently to provide
clarity regarding CSU admissions priority for SB 1440 students, particularly for impacted campuses
and majors; promote the acceptance of the community college degrees by CSU campuses; and
communicate policy and implementation decisions to faculty, staff, administrators, students,
policymakers and the general public. At its April meeting, the Implementation and Oversight
Committee agreed to convene a subcommittee to begin developing information and tools for
counselors and transfer center personnel to use in advising students about associate degrees for
transfer. Initial work has also been done to plan a broad messaging campaign to inform students,
parents and the general public about this important new transfer guarantee.
To help ensure the successful implementation of SB 1440, it is critical to have the full support of
CEOs, CIOs, CSSOs and faculty, including transfer center directors and articulation officers. It will
also be essential that colleges provide support for implementing proposed degrees through their
local curriculum approval process and for counseling students about the approved degrees.
Additional information and announcements about SB 1440 implementation will be posted on the
joint SB 1440 website once it is launched.
Staff: Jeff Spano, Dean of Student Services
Stephanie Low, Dean of Curriculum and Instruction