Chancellor Scott thanks board as reform plan to increase graduation, certificate,
and transfer rates clears another hurdle
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott today thanked the board of
governors for adopting the critical Student Success Task Force reform package that has been a year in
the making. The recommendations, Scott said, will go a long way in improving student graduation, certificate
and transfer rates at the system’s 112 colleges. The plan, which was approved without a dissenting vote,
will be sent to the state Legislature for review in accordance with Senate Bill 1143 (Liu).
The task force’s recommendations will make community colleges more responsive to the needs of students
and the economy, which is increasingly demanding college-educated workers. It is aimed at rebalancing
priorities to focus on the core missions of remedial education, workforce preparation, certificate and degree
attainment and transfer. Students who make progress toward meeting their goals will be rewarded with
priority enrollment, and colleges will adjust course offerings according to the needs of students based on
their education plans. The recommendations also will improve the student assessment process and promote
better use of technology to help students reach their educational goals on time.
“I want to commend the task force for its hard work and dedication to increasing student success,”
Chancellor Scott said after the report was adopted by the board Monday afternoon. “This plan is historic and
wide-ranging. Because of the state’s disinvestment in higher education, access is being rationed at the
community colleges in ways that are unfair and harm entering students. The recommendations in the report
are integral to balancing priorities so first-time students have a fair opportunity to pursue their educational
goals. At a time when resources are scarce, our system must implement solutions that improve student
outcomes, deliver an educated and trained workforce, and ensure the efficient use of state investment in
higher education – I am confident that this plan will do just that.”
California Community Colleges Board of Governors President Scott Himelstein said that the board will move
forward on the adoption of regulatory changes needed to implement the task force’s vision.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to improve the educational outcomes of the largest system of higher
education in the country,” Himelstein said. “With these changes, our 2.6 million students will have a better
shot at success.”
President Obama announced the goal to make America “the most educated country in the world” by 2020.
From 2012 through 2018, occupations requiring an associate degree will grow the fastest but by 2025,
California’s workforce will face a shortage of 1 million college degree and certificate holders. In 2010, then
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger approved Senate Bill 1143, authored by Carol Liu. The bill charged the California
Community Colleges Board of Governors with adopting a plan by 2012 for improving student success and
awarding more associate degrees and transferring more students to California State University or University
of California campuses. Board of governors member Peter MacDougall served as the task force chair and
Chancellor Scott was an ex officio member.
The task force released a set of draft recommendations in September and the California Community Colleges
Chancellor’s Office and task force members subsequently embarked on a state-wide listening tour to gather
input from constituencies. Those interested also could find the recommendations online and leave comments
that were considered by the task force in November. After the listening tour was complete, revisions were
made on several key points. Some of those revisions included not charging students full price for classes
outside their educational plans and allowing colleges some leeway to exempt students under extraordinary
circumstances from the 110-unit cap on Board of Governors Fee Waiver eligibility.
“This task force really worked very hard to outline a plan that will help students reach their educational goals
faster and more efficiently,” MacDougall said. “We listened to input and great ideas offered by students,
faculty, staff and parents from around the state and incorporated what we heard into the final draft. This
was a collaborative effort and I am proud to have been a part of this historic task force.”
The board of governors now has until March 1, 2012 to submit the full report to the state
Legislature for review.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation.
It is composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.6 million students per year. Community
colleges supply workforce training, basic skills courses in English and math, and prepare students
for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership,
advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community