It has taken California 50 years to bring a key tenet of its Master Plan for Higher Education to life. And if the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown's administration do not act decisively now, we may lose the best chance we have had in those five decades to deliver on that promise.
It's a simple concept and one that many Californians assume is already in place, but that has been frustratingly absent.
The framers of the 1960 master plan assumed that transfers would be a top priority of our California community colleges and that there would be a clear pathway for community college students to transfer to a California State University campus, where they could immediately begin upper division course work.
What we have instead is inconsistent, duplicative and ever-changing course work and other requirements that have frustrated and discouraged students. Course work accepted by one CSU may not be accepted by another. Some CSUs require community college graduates with an associate's degree to take additional classes for admission as juniors. Others do not. Or it depends on the major, and major requirements vary from campus to campus.