Sac State and other CSUs to offer early access to community college students
April 14, 2023
Community college students soon will be able to enter into admission agreements with Sacramento State or any other CSU campus allowing them early access to the University system and creating a more efficient path to earning their degrees.
The Transfer Success Pathway system, launching this summer, is part of an effort to reverse a decline in the number of students transferring to the CSU from community colleges. Students who enter into a dual admission agreement with a specific CSU campus will receive advising, library access, financial aid information, and other services while they are in community college.
The program guarantees admission to the chosen campus once students complete academic requirements.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work with them earlier in their journey,” said April Grommo, CSU’s assistant vice chancellor of Strategic Enrollment Management. “The Transfer Success Pathway is the CSU’s promise and commitment to those who don’t take a direct route to a four-year degree, particularly those who face academic, geographic, or financial barriers.”
Nationwide, the number of students enrolling in community college and transferring from community college to four-year universities has dropped dramatically in recent years, most notably following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If a student decides to go to a community college, they can stay connected to Sac State and within two or three years join the Hornet Family through our admission guarantee.” -- Steven Salcido, associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Services
Reversing these trends can make a big difference in students’ success. Data show that 40% of CSU transfer students graduate within two years, and 80% within four years.
The CSU is hoping its new program will make transferring into the system simpler and more efficient.
Beginning with the high school graduating class of 2023, the Transfer Success Pathway program will be open to first-year California community college students who were ineligible for the CSU system at the time of high school graduation, or were unable to attend because of personal or financial reasons.
This summer, the CSU will launch an online “Transfer Planner” portal where students can determine their eligibility for the program, research campuses and available programs, and enter into an agreement with a specific campus stating they will transfer to the CSU within three years.
Scholars who enter such an agreement will then be entitled to services at their chosen campus as well as invitations to attend events like athletic games, speeches, celebratory gatherings, and more.
The program will have a significant impact on Sac State, where a large portion of the student body enrolls from community college.
About 46% of students admitted last fall came in as transfers, said Steven Salcido, the University’s associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Services. But while Sac State’s overall head count has remained stable in recent years, local transfer enrollment this fall was about 4.5% lower than last year.
Under the new program, community college students who were denied admission to CSU campuses will receive a letter “telling them that we’re going to partner with you,” said Salcido.
“If a student decides to go to a community college, they can stay connected to Sac State and within two or three years join the Hornet Family through our admission guarantee.”
In addition to boosting enrollment, the program will strengthen bonds between community colleges and CSU campuses, Salcido said.
“The idea is to build community,” said Salcido.
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