Calif. Approves Transfer Agreement with HBCUs

Dillard University Courtesy Photo
Dillard University Courtesy Photo

Washington, DC – The California Community Colleges Board of Governors and the leaders of nine historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are signing an agreement ensuring guaranteed transfer to graduates of any California community college who meet certain academic requirements.

California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris, leaders of the participating HBCUs and George Cooper, executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs, are taking part in a signing ceremony in the chancellor’s office March 17.

“We applaud Chancellor Brice Harris and the California Community College System for working to ensure that all community college students have a guaranteed pathway toward their academic goals,” said Walter Bumphus, president of the American Association of Community Colleges. “Nationally, community colleges serve the majority of minority students, and this historic agreement with HBCUs will safeguard increased access toward the completion of a bachelor’s degree.”

No lost credits

The memorandums of understanding between the chancellor’s office and the individual HBCUs says students who have completed an associate degree for transfer or similar transfer-level associate degree and maintain a 2.5 grade point average will be admitted to the four-year institution as a junior with full acceptance of transferable units.

Students who haven’t earned a degree from a community college would be able to transfer 30 or more credits and would be guaranteed admission to an HBCU with advance standing.

The participating HBCUs are Bennett College (North Carolina); Dillard University (Louisiana); Fisk University (Tennessee); Lincoln University (Missouri); Philander Smith College (Arkansas); Wiley College (Texas); and three institutions in Alabama – Stillman College, Talladega College and Tuskegee University.

The goal of the HBCU Transfer Guarantee Project is to educate students about additional transfer opportunities at these institutions and develop pathways that will contribute to an increase in baccalaureate attainment.

More success

HBCUs have an excellent academic track record, the chancellor’s office noted. While only about 17 percent of black undergraduate students attend an HBCU, more than 28 percent of African-Americans who receive bachelor’s degrees obtain them from an HBCU.

These institutions are also leading institutions in awarding bachelor’s degrees to black students in the life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics and engineering. Some also award master’s and doctorate degrees.

There are 105 HBCUs in the United States, with most of them located in the South and on the East Coast.