PRESS RELEASE: Community Colleges Chancellor Scott Lauds Passage of Student Success Act - Aug. 30, 2012
PRESS RELEASE August 30, 2012
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Community Colleges Chancellor Scott Lauds Passage of Student Success Act of 2012; Says Reforms Will Result In More Students Reaching Their Educational Goals
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Student Success Act of 2012, which would help more California community college students reach their goal of earning a degree, certificate, career advancement, or transferring to a four-year institution, cleared its final legislative hurdle today and now heads to the governor’s desk.
Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott said SB 1456 would usher in some of the most significant improvements to the community college system in more than a decade. On a bipartisan vote, the Senate agreed to minor amendments made by the Assembly, which approved the bill earlier this week.
“The Legislature clearly recognized that this bill’s important policy changes will put more students on the path to completing their educational goals and will make California more competitive economically,” Scott said. “This is the result of nearly two years of hard work that started with the recommendations of the Student Success Task Force. But it’s not the end. Instead, it’s really just the beginning of a restructuring of our priorities so our students succeed in greater numbers.”
If signed by the governor, the Student Success Act of 2012 would:
· Restructure the way student support services are delivered to improve the assistance that students receive at the beginning of their educational experience. The bill refocuses existing student services resources to support orientation, assessment and education planning services and lays the groundwork to expand these services as more resources become available.
· Provide that campuses using an assessment instrument for student placement utilize a statewide system of common assessment once available, to improve consistency and efficiency within the 112-campus system.
· Require colleges receiving student support service funds to post a student success scorecard to clearly communicate progress in improving completion rates for all students and closing the achievement gap among historically under-represented students.
· Require students whose fees are waived because of their economic need to meet minimum academic standards.
The bill by Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, and co-authored by Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Canada Flintridge, enjoyed support from a broad coalition of students, business leaders and social justice organizations and was also supported by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges.
“While many students are getting out of the starting blocks at our community colleges, many fail to get across the finish line. Fifty-four percent of all community college students fail to earn a certificate, associate degree or transfer within six years of attending a community college,” Lowenthal said. “This situation is unacceptable by any measure and demands immediate change. SB 1456 is an important first step in realigning our community college system to the goals of student success and achievement.
The law will be phased-in over a reasonable period of time as funding allows. The California Community Colleges Board of Governors and the Chancellor’s Office have already begun work on implementing many of the recommendations of the Student Success Task Force. For more information, go to http://bit.ly/SpddQw.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation. It is composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.4 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills courses in English and math, and prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.