Academic route gives higher chance of acceptance to CSUs

Pierce College is offering an academic route for desiring transfer students that greatly increases their chance of acceptance to one of the 23 California state universities, according to Transfer Center Director Sunday Salter.

The school is currently offering an Associate of Science for transfer (AS-T) in business and mathematics, and is awaiting approval from the state for five more Associate of Art for Transfer degrees (AA-T), including: administration of justice (criminal justice), early childhood development, journalism, music, sociology and political science, Salter said.

“We’ve done everything we can to move the process along,” Salter said. “We’re on the hook waiting for final approval from the state before we can begin to offer the AA-T degrees.”

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors implemented a goal to each CSU back in 2012 to have AA-T and AS-T degrees approved by the fall 2013 semester in 80 percent of the majors the campuses offer and 100 percent by Fall 2014, according to a memo sent out by California Community College Chancellor Jack Scott’s office.

Although the goal for 100 percent implementation is set for fall 2014, Salter isn’t confident in the speed at which the execution process has been moving so far and doesn’t expect the goal to be met on schedule.

“The main confusion with the degree is it’s advertised as a degree with a guarantee,” Salter said. “It does guarantee a few things, but not everything one would think.”

While not guaranteed admission to the CSU of choice, the transfer degree ensures a student has junior standing and priority admission consideration over all other applicants when applying to their local CSU that offers a degree program deemed similar, according to the CSU transfer website.

“Given these benefits, it is clear that these degrees represent a vast improvement in how California’s systems of public higher education serves our students,” Scott said in his 2012 memo.