Bipartisan bill with momentum would speed college transfers' pace to graduation

 

A significant bill with bipartisan momentum could make it easier for college students to transfer to other state schools.

Senate Bill 69 passed the upper chamber Friday on a 33-0 vote, so it bounces to the House to start the process there.

It’s sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert of Parker and Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, D-Arvada, with Reps. Alec Garnett, D-Denver, and Jon Becker, R-Fort Morgan.

Besides making it easier to move around in the higher educational world, the legislation could help cut the costs some. The bill would particularly help community college students.

“We’re very privileged in this state to have a lot of opportunities for higher education, and the community college system is an affordable good choice for students,” Zenzinger said on the Senate floor when she and Holbert presented it.

The legislation passed the Senate Education Committee unanimously.

A third-year college student who would be eligible has to have “satisfactory completion” to bounce to a participating four-year school in Colorado.

The way it works now means some students could have to take additional courses to adjust to the new school’s graduation requirements, which costs money and slows the pace to graduation.

Some schools have already started to work out their agreements with community colleges to help students avoid “unexpected challenges,” according to the Senate Republicans’ press office.

“Students can select from approved degree pathways and start a four-year degree effort at a two-year community college and then transfer as a third-year student to a four-year institution that participates in an articulation agreement between those two institutions,” Holbert said in a statement.

“Transferability can also work for students who do not complete a degree at a participating four-year institution and who subsequently transfer to a participating two-year institution. Whether an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or a certificate, achieving some type of credential provides value to that student in his or her career. We want to make sure that all college students in Colorado receive the best possible return on their investment of time and money.”

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