New degree programs streamline the transfer process for students

AA-T and AS-T bring graduation that much closer

Johnny Wilson

SACRAMENTO– Deputy Chancellor of California community colleges Erik Skinner and Chief Academic Officer for California State University Ephraim Smith met with press last Wednesday to discuss progress on the new AA-T and AS-T transfer programs.
The Associate of Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and the Associate of Science for Transfer (AS-T) degree programs were officially activated this fall, with a total of 120 California Community College Transfer students gaining CSU acceptance via these new programs.
These new degree pathways, originally proposed by Senate bill 1440, allow for greater efficiency of obtaining an associate and bachelor’s degree. The main goal of the AA-T and AA-S programs is to ensure that no more than 120 units are taken in order for a California student to receive his/her bachelor’s degree.
Currently, nearly all 112 California Community Colleges have these two programs approved for roughly 80 percent of student majors-according to Skinner. By fall 2013 Skinner hopes to have 100 percent major approval within the AA-T and AS-T transfer programs.
At saddleback, the majors currently covered by the AA-T and AS-T programs include: Psychology, Sociology, Communications– (AA-T); and Early Childhood Education– (AS-T).
“The program is all about efficiency and making a highly educated workforce a reality in California,” said Smith.
As far as efficiency, the AA-T and AS-T transfer degree programs are expected to generate approximately $160 million in yearly savings, according to Skinner. In addition, implementation of these programs will create more volume for annual student enrollment-roughly 40,000 more spots in California Community Colleges, and nearly 14,000 more available within the Cal. State University system.
“I’ve just been following the IGETC for all my classes,” said 19 year old Saddleback student Geordie Ellis (Architecture).
In the past, the IGETC transfer credit program has been the go-to guide for many CCC students. However, completion of the AA-T or AS-T program offers something IGETC cannot: guaranteed priority admission to a CSU campus, according to the website.
Also, once a student is admitted to a CSU under the AA-T or AS-T program, he/she will only need an additional 60 units to obtain a bachelor’s degree for his/her selected major.
“AA-T and AA-S? I’ve never heard of those-I didn’t know there was another transfer program besides the IGETC,” said Saddleback student Nathan Tully (19, undecided).
Given that bill 1440 was only enacted two years ago (September of 2010), the AA-T and AS-T pathways are still fairly new and unbeknown to the majority of students. Smith and Skinner encouraged all students at the press conference to learn more about these new programs by talking to school counselors.
For more information about how you can pursue one of these transfer programs, be sure to schedule an appointment with your counselor, and visit the Admissions and Records homepage on Saddleback’s website.



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