New Report Finds that AB 705 is Catalyzing Big Changes at California Community Colleges 

For too long, talented California students were trapped in a downward spiral of remedial education courses from which they’d never emerge. Community colleges largely relied on ineffective standardized tests that placed more than 75 percent of incoming students into lengthy remedial course sequences, where few ever reached transfer-level courses or achieved their college goals. But thanks to Assembly Bill 705, California’s community colleges are ushering in a new era of placing students into courses where they are most likely to succeed.
Today, the Campaign for College Opportunity in partnership with the California Acceleration Project released a regional progress report,  “Getting There: Are California Colleges Maximizing Student Completion of Transfer-Level Math and English?” that looks at how well California’s community colleges are implementing AB 705.
The report looks at 47 colleges in Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and the Central Valley, and finds that AB 705 has catalyzed tremendous changes in community college course offerings. Between 2018 and 2019,  colleges have doubled the proportion of transfer-level courses they are offering.
Percentage of Introductory Sections that are Transfer Level
There has also been a dramatic growth in the number of colleges offering transfer-level courses with additional support (co-requisite courses). Across the 47 colleges studied, the number of colleges offering support in English increased from 10 colleges to 39, from five to 33 in statistics, and from zero to 30 in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses.

“Getting There” also identified several areas for improvement. At many colleges, remedial courses still constitute a large proportion of course offerings, especially in math even though research shows no group of students benefit from remedial education. Colleges offering substantial remedial courses are not providing information to students on how enrolling in these courses reduces their likelihood of completing that course.

The report offers a series of recommendations for campuses and the state to ensure AB 705 is implemented evenly across the state and achieves the goal of improving college completion. 
“I am excited to see campuses making progress toward reducing barriers to student success and am grateful to the hard work of the Campaign and their allies as they continue to monitor implementation of this landmark legislation. While the progress colleges have made is encouraging, we know we must continue to monitor and strengthen implementation so that all students receive the benefits of AB 705 and we ensure college is accessible and equitable for the next generation of students,”

-California State Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, AB 705 author. 
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