Agreements Allow Calif. Community College Students to Transfer to HBCUs




Special to the Outlook from Trice Edney News Wire

The agreements offer community college students who complete a transfer-level Associate degrees with a GPA of 2.5 or higher guaranteed admission to Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C.; Dillard University in New Orleans, La.; Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn.; Lincoln University of Missouri in Jefferson City, Mo.; Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark.; Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Talladega College in Talladega, Ala.; Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala.; and Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.
The agreements are the first between the state’s community colleges and institutions outside the state, according to The Sacramento Bee.

“The California Community Colleges is working on multiple fronts to create avenues of opportunity for our students,” California Community Colleges Board of Governors President Geoffrey L. Baum said in a statement. “This agreement opens a new and streamlined transfer pathway for our students to some of the finest and culturally diverse institutions of higher learning in the United States. I thank our nine partners for working with us to make it possible.”

The new arrangement is also the first time that HBCUs have reached a transfer agreement with an entire community college system, according to the Bee, and HBCU representatives said they hope the model would be replicated elsewhere. The arrangement is a boon to HBCUs which have suffered falling enrollment in recent years due to the economic downturn, changes in federal policy and other factors.

Representatives of the nine institutions hailed the initiative as “truly a dream come true” during the signing event in Sacramento on March 17, the Bee reported.

California’s agreement supports a White House initiative led by Dr. George Cooper to strengthen and expand the capacity of HBCUs to provide higher education to students.

“California community college students and the nine participating schools will benefit immensely from the agreement,” Cooper said in a statement. “The schools will have an even larger pool of gifted students knocking on their doors and California community college students will be guaranteed transfer to four-year institutions with rich histories, traditions and track records of success.”

Jovon Duke, 22, attended El Camino College in Torrance, Calif., and transferred to Fisk University in 2013 because of its small class sizes and friendly, supportive atmosphere.

“Fisk is such a tight-knitted community and Nashville is great,” the psychology and sociology major said in a statement. “I’ve had a lot of opportunities to take on leadership positions and have made many friends and close relationships with my professors. I love it here.”