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NVC transfer students to have guaranteed admission to SSU starting Fall 2023

Sonoma State University

Flor Martinez - Class of 2023 - is transferring to Sonoma State University

Napa Valley College students who meet specific requirements are now guaranteed admission to Sonoma State University to continue their education as an incoming junior, thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was approved by the NVC Board of Trustees at its regular meeting Thursday.

“This is huge step for us because it helps to clarify the pathway for our students,” said NVC Superintendent Dr. Torence Powell. “Our students can come to us knowing what their next step is going to be once they leave us, creating concrete assurances for them at a CSU [California State University]. It allows students to be intentional and deliberate in their classes and decisions while they are with us. It minimizes the potential gap that happens when a student doesn’t know where they want to go, when students may end up delaying their transfer or going back to work full-time and not following through with their educational dreams.”

“The UC system offers guaranteed admission to our students, but not CSU,” said Dr. Alex Guerrero, interim Vice President for Student Affairs. “Sonoma State is 45 miles from NVC and is one of the schools that many of our students transfer to. Data show that it will positively impact, in particular, our DI [disproportionally impacted] students -- our Black, indigenous, Hispanic students -- to be guaranteed a spot at a CSU so close to us.”

In the 2022-2023 school year, 51 NVC students enrolled at SSU. In his remarks to the Board regarding the MOU, Dr. Guerrero said he would like to double that number. “The goal is to create pipelines: From high schools to community college, from community college to university, and from universities back to our communities as leaders, as folks who have received their degrees and allow them to really impact our communities,” he said.

Dr. Elias Lopez, senior associate vice president for Strategic Enrollment at SSU, highlighted for the Trustees the details of the MOU. Among other requirements, students will need to have completed at least 60 units with a 2.0 GPA, he said, and the guarantee applies to all SSU majors except four: nursing, psychology, sociology and criminal justice, which are impacted by over enrollment already. Dr. Lopez suggested that interested students should plan to complete an associate degree for transfer, or ADT, at NVC.

“Sonoma State University is one of 23 schools in the CSU system and is rated number one in graduation rate for students who transfer in with a two-year degree,” he said.
The commitment from SSU also includes scholarships, guaranteeing $2,000 each for 24 NVC students to attend SSU in fall 2023.

“We will be reaching out to our Napa County high school students, from Calistoga to American Canyon, to let them know about this exciting new program,” Guerrero said. “We want them to know that a college education at the university level is available and attainable.”

Interested students can contact NVC’s Transfer Center at (707) 256-7333 or visit the website at

For information, contact Alejandro Guerrero