Thursday, May 13, 2010


DENVER – Historic legislation benefiting community college students passed the Colorado General Assembly unanimously in the 2010 session and was signed by Governor Ritter on May 5, 2010.

“We are thrilled that this critical bill received the overwhelming bipartisan support of the legislature and the Governor,” said Dr. Nancy McCallin, president of the Colorado Community College System. “This will benefit the students in Colorado’s community colleges enormously and we thank the sponsors for their work to make it happen.”

The bill, House Bill 10-1208, was sponsored by Representatives Nancy Todd (D-Aurora) and Carole Murray (R-Castle Rock) in the House and Senators Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont) and Keith King (R-Colorado Springs) in the Senate. The bill creates statewide seamless, common transfer agreements in 14 program areas by July 1, 2016. The governing boards of the two-year and four-year public higher education institutions will work together to identify appropriate program areas. When a student graduates from a two-year community college with an associate’s degree in a designated program area, they can apply for admission to a four-year institution, and, if accepted, enter as a junior transferring all the common credits earned at the community college in the program area.

Currently, there are only two transfer agreements that exist between community colleges and four-year institutions that are uniform statewide. HB10-1208 will greatly expand this number as it creates statewide agreements that will each have a set of 60 credits that will transfer because they are common between the community colleges and four-year institutions.

“The reason this is such a beneficial piece of legislation is that it provides certainty to our students so they know which courses will or will not transfer to four-year institutions for their programs of study. Previously, a student might take courses that would transfer to one four-year institution, but then need to go to another four-year institution because of a change in their work or family. They spent time and money taking courses at the community college according to transfer requirements of one four-year institution, but another four-year institution may have different requirements,” said McCallin, “In that situation, the student finds that he has to take a different set of courses, therefore spending additional tuition money and time. The state would also pay additional funds for the student to take more courses. This bill creates a common set of courses that transfer by program for 14 agreed upon programs. All the credits are guaranteed to transfer to any public four-year institution in the state as long as the student is admitted.”

The bill’s sponsors had similar praise for the bill:

Senate President Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont) -

“This is one of the most significant pieces of legislation we will pass this year because higher education should be accessible to every Coloradan who wants it,” said President Brandon Shaffer. “This bill will decrease the cost of college and help us stand up for those who believe a four-year degree is out of their reach. By increasing access to higher education in Colorado, we are building a quality work force and providing access to opportunity.”

President Shaffer added, “I am proud to sponsor this bill which will help citizens get the most out of their post-secondary education. By increasing access to higher education in Colorado, we are building a quality work force and providing access to opportunity.”

Senator Keith King – (R-Colorado Springs)-

“Colorado must find a way to keep college affordable for students. HB 1208 goes a long way to accomplishing that. Students can begin their college experience at the community college, where it costs less, and then finish their bachelor degree in four years because the associated degree is fully transferable.”

Representative Nancy Todd (D-Aurora) -

“I am so excited that we have opened the door for a fresh start in a small environment with caring professionals so students can then seamlessly move to the next level to reach their dreams.”

Representative Carole Murray (R-Castle Rock)-

“This bill brings stability and predictability to students and parents who are trying to fund a good education in our great Colorado institutions of higher learning. Their dollars won't be wasted on courses that don't transfer, and all our schools will benefit from a student body more focused on an ultimate date of graduation.”

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