By Melvin Bui
The Associates Degree for Transfer program at East Los Angeles College has been recognized for its large increase of students transferred to California Community Colleges.
It was awarded 2020 Champion of Higher Learning by The Campaign for College Opportunity.
The award is given to colleges that exemplify exceptional dedication toward their students’ academic endeavors.
ELAC has helped hundreds of students successfully transfer to California State Universities and Universities of California in the past four years.
The California Master Plan for Education was an initiative passed in the 1960s to help students pursue higher education.
However it was not effective, according to former governor of California Gray Davis.
TCCO started as an initiative to reprioritize higher education in California, since the Master Plan for Higher Education was not helping students progress through community college.
TCCO President Michele Siqueiros said California by design sends most of their college students directly to community college, over two-thirds of students start in community college.
“We need to make sure more of them succeed. After two years we only see 4% of them transfer, and this is really unacceptable,” Siqueiros said.
Former California Senator Alex Padilla authored the legislation for Senate Bill 1440, commonly known as ADT to help increase the number of community college students transferring to four-year institutions in September 2010. This is the 10-year anniversary of ADT legislation being passed. There have been over 280,000 ADT awarded in the past decade, according to TCCO.
“There is a strong relationship in ELAC awarding more Associate Degrees for Transfer and the increase in our yearly transfer numbers, specifically when looking at our CSU transfers.
“The vision of the Degree with a Guarantee is to remove transfer-barriers and align major curriculum between the CA Community College System and the 23 Cal State(Universities).
“These ADT degrees help to standardize the major requirements into a single road map, making it easier for students to understand what courses are required when applying to various CSU campuses,” Transfer Center Director and Counselor Kirby Dominguez said.
ADT assures acceptance to CSUs and allows students to obtain a bachelor’s degree quicker than usual, since half of their units were completed in community college. It also allows transfer students to focus on their upper division courses without having to worry about general education courses.
“It’s a community and within that community, professors and other faculty members push students to transfer.
“They often share personal stories or successes of other students, and then students envision themselves moving forward to four-year universities. So, it’s safe to say that the transfer students are excited to transfer,” said Transfer Center Employee Bianca Izzo.
Former Husky Albert Meija obtained an AA-T in anthropology during spring 2020.
He took an untraditional route and didn’t talk to counselors for transfer advice, however the ADT academic plan that was available online helped give him class recommendations. Meija applied to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona as an archaeology major and was accepted in fall 2020.
He said information on the required courses was easy to find online and made the overall transfer process easier.
Dominguez said ELAC is an amazing campus, and that this recognition helps validate what is being done to make it a better place.
“Students need to know that when we say ‘Start at ELAC, Go Anywhere’ we mean it,” he said.
The Transfer Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Counselor appointments are open for booking on Friday at 8 a.m. To book an appointment, visit https://bit.ly/3kUogRy.
ELAC currently offers 31 ADT degrees. Students can graduate with an AA-T, AS-T or certificates from a wide range of disciplines. For more information visit https://bit.ly/372pWDw.