SACRAMENTO -- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 1440, authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), into law today.

The bill creates clarity for community college students seeking to transfer to the California State University (CSU) system.

“SB 1440 will fundamentally change higher education in California.  With this bill, more students will successfully transfer and earn bachelor’s degrees in less time,” said Sen. Padilla.  “SB 1440 will better align our higher education system, saving students time, money and freeing up state resources to serve more students,” Sen. Padilla added.

Specifically, SB 1440 requires California’s community colleges to create degrees for transfer to the CSU system.  The bill precludes community colleges from requiring additional courses for this degree and guarantees those who earn the degree admission to a CSU campus with junior status.

An estimated $160 million is projected to be saved, a savings of $75 million annually for the community colleges and $85 million annually for the CSU system.

Senate Bill 1440 charges the two college systems with establishing a process that guarantees community college transfer students with a 2.0 GPA admission to a CSU campus at junior status while also granting them an associate degree.

“To meet the growing demand for skilled workers, we must dramatically improve the rate at which students transfer from community colleges and graduate from four-year universities,” said Sen. Padilla.