May 5, 2022
New bill would create additional rules forcing community to allow students to take higher level courses.
Arguing that too many community college students are getting stuck in remedial classes, California lawmakers are pushing a new bill that would create stricter rules dictating when colleges are allowed to enroll students in those courses.
Assembly Bill 1705 would build on Assembly Bill 705, the landmark California law passed in 2017 that says community colleges must allow most students access to transfer-level classes without first needing to take remedial classes, which are noncredit courses that can’t be used to transfer to a four-year university. Requiring students to take those courses has been shown to often derail them from completing an associate degree or pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
The new law, which has already cleared the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee, would clarify that colleges can only enroll students in remedial classes under specific circumstances and must back up those enrollment decisions with data. For example, if a student pursuing a science degree had a low high school GPA and the college had data showing that students with similar high school grades fared well in the same major after taking remedial classes, that could be an acceptable reason to enroll the student in those courses.