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CSUF Honored as a Leader in Supporting Community College Transfer Students

University Is a 2019 'Champion of Higher Education'
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Cal State Fullerton has been honored for its efforts to ensure that community college students access and succeed in a pathway designed to streamline the transfer process to the California State University system.

The Campaign for College Opportunity honored 15 California institutions, including CSUF, two other CSU campuses and community colleges, as a 2019 “Champion of Higher Education” for leading the state in the Associate Degree for Transfer pathway program.

Campus leaders, including President Fram Virjee and Tonantzin Oseguera, associate vice president for student affairs, who oversees admissions, attended a Nov. 14 celebration in Los Angeles for the honorees.

“As California’s No. 1 destination for transfer students for 18 of the last 21 years, Cal State Fullerton has long served as a preeminent path from community college to university,” Virjee said. “Our faculty and staff continue to innovate path-clearing initiatives for even greater access, as evidenced by our highest two-year graduation rates for transfer students in history — and this pathway and partnership is integral to that success.”

The pathway allows students to obtain their degrees with fewer complications, with nearly half of Associate Degree for Transfer students earning their bachelor’s degree within two years of transferring to the California State University, compared to traditional transfer students at 27%, the organization said.

“Through this pathway, students are able to seamlessly transfer to Cal State Fullerton — and all of their classes count toward their bachelor’s degree,” Oseguera said.

Students are admitted with junior standing, and once enrolled, take upper-division coursework in their major to graduate in two years, Oseguera added. Students also have access to a range of campus support programs to be successful in their major.

The Campaign for College Opportunity championed this pathway after learning that students transferring from a community college to a four-year university experienced a complex process that cost them excessive amounts of time and money, including retaking classes that didn’t transfer.

The pathway has transformed the lives of college students since its creation in 2010 and more than 200,000 students have earned an Associate Degree for Transfer, according to the organization.

This fall, about 4,000 community college students transferred to CSUF — with Fullerton, Orange Coast, Saddleback, Santa Ana and Irvine Valley colleges among the top feeder schools. Of these transfer students, about 30% are Associate Degree for Transfer earners, Oseguera pointed out.