California community colleges have signed a transfer guarantee agreement with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
By: Kitiana Adams, Staff Writer
With a culturally diverse student body on campus, it shouldn’t be a surprise that not everyone wants to attend an institution like University of California or Cal State Northridge, but maybe a school like Clark Atlanta University or Grambling State University.
The California Community College Historically Black Colleges and Universities Transfer program is a development of Transfer Guarantee Agreements that will help students transition smoothly from a California community college to partnered historically black colleges and universities. The agreements will make it easier for transfer students and reduce the need to take unnecessary courses, lessening the time for degree completion and saving money. Research has shown that there’s a high percentage of students transferring to HBCUs but there’s been difficulties in the past such as units not being accepted, issues with housing, and general communication with the institutions prior to transferring.
“I want there to be more awareness of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In California, we’re spoiled because we have all of these schools surrounding us but students should know they have options beyond what’s here,” said Helen Young, Project Director of the program.
The HBCU Transfer Agreement has also partnered with UC’s to help those students who transfer to these institutions to come back to obtain their master’s or doctorate degrees. With database sharing with those students, the UC system can easily recruit them. Young says HBCU’s have quality education which helps the student not only have the chance of attending graduate school back in California but being recruited by big fortune 500 companies.
El Camino College was awarded a grant of $100,000 from California Community College Chancellor’s Office to help fund the transfer program. An evaluation of the proposal that was put forth by counselors, articulation officers, and the EOP department from El Camino, happens twice a year to make sure goals are being met in order to receive more funding the following year. The grant will be renewed for the next five years after evaluation.
The agreement that was signed March 17, 2015, has partnerships with 21 institutions, which means that students are guaranteed transfer to those campuses if they complete academic requirements that are similar to the requirements by USC or CSU. Young stated that every year, between June and December, an application portal will open up for other HBCUs to submit their applications to join the program. The universities and colleges must meet certain criteria to be able to participate.
“Our student population doesn’t always look for opportunities in other states, so I feel it is important for students to branch out and have experience of studying away from home and meeting other students from all over the United States,” said Joyce Romero, a Los Angeles Valley College general counselor.
The program is being promoted by counselors within offices on Valley’s campus during student appointments but the Student Equity program is also promoting this opportunity to students on campus. Young explained that there’s “not that kind of money” for advertisement but hopes that counselors throughout LACCD share this information with students.
Mia Miller, former secretary of Valley’s Black Student Union, said that she wasn’t aware of the HBCU Transfer agreement but feels that it should be shared more around campus.
“It’ll make it easier for students to transfer to those schools because now they’re aware of another option that they didn’t know was available before,” said Miller.