Ullman introduces bill to guarantee admission to community college graduates in good standing to PASSHE

HARRISBURG, May 14 – State Rep. Wendy Ullman, D-Bucks, announced today she has introduced a bill (H.B. 2447) that would create a guaranteed pathway for students to transfer from a community college to a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education institution by creating an Associate Degree for Transfer Program. Students who complete this program would be able to transfer with junior standing in their field of study.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on many families’ and students’ finances,” Ullman said. “As a result, even more high school graduates will choose to go to a community college with the eventual goal of transferring to a four-year college.

“Unfortunately, the transfer process from community college to a four-year institution can be convoluted and result in having to re-take courses, which is expensive and causes delays in graduation. Ultimately the process discourages some students from completing school. I want to make sure that the transfer process to a four-year institution is as streamlined as possible.”

In the 2017-18 school year, nearly 35,000 Pennsylvania community college students transferred to another college, but less than half of them transferred to a PASSHE institution.  

Ullman said her bill would help even more students transfer to one of the commonwealth’s four-year colleges by guaranteeing admission to PASSHE schools to students who have successfully completed the Associate Degree for Transfer Program. A similar program was introduced in California to immense success—48% of students in the program earned a Bachelor of Arts degree within two years of transferring compared to only 27% of traditional transfer students.

“Implementing this program would guarantee a clear, affordable pathway for students and send a strong message: if you work hard, you will be able to earn a degree and graduate without crippling debt.”

The bill has been referred to the House Education Committee.