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AB 1705 – Requires Students Be Placed In Transfer-Level English And Math Within The First Year Of Matriculation With Limited Exceptions
AB 1705 amends existing law and requires that community college districts and colleges (collectively “districts”) maximize the probability that a student will enter and complete college-level coursework in English and mathematics within a one-year timeframe that satisfies the student’s academic goal. Districts are prohibited from using placement tests and may only use assessment instruments approved by the board of governors. Districts must rely on a student’s high school coursework, high school grades, and high school grade point average when placing students into English and mathematics courses. Districts utilizing multiple measures must ensure all of the following are met:
- Low performance on one measure shall be offset by a higher performance on another measure;
- Multiple measures are used to increase a student’s placement recommendation and shall not be used to lower it;
- Anyone measure may demonstrate a student’s preparedness for transfer-level coursework;
- The placement shall not require students to repeat coursework they successfully completed in high school or college or for which they demonstrate competency through other methods of credit for prior learning; and
- The placement gives students access to a transfer-level course that will satisfy a requirement for the intended certificate or associate degree or a requirement for transfer within the intended major.
If a student did not graduate from high school, or for high school graduates unable to provide self-reported high school information, community colleges may use guided placement or self-placement. Guided placement or self-placement methods must maximize the probability that students enter and complete transfer-level mathematics and English coursework that satisfies a requirement of the intended certificate or associate degree or a requirement for transfer within the intended major, within a one-year timeframe of their initial attempt in the discipline.
The bill requires a district to use multiple evidence-based measures for placing students into English-as-a-second language (ESL) coursework and provides that any such placement must maximize the probability that the student will complete a degree and transfer requirements in English within three years.
The bill prohibits districts from recommending or requiring students to enroll in pretransfer-level English or mathematics coursework unless (1) the student is highly unlikely to succeed in a transfer-level English or mathematics course based on their high school grade point average and coursework, and (2) enrollment in pre-transfer coursework will improve the student’s probability of completing transfer-level coursework in English within a three-year timeframe. However, by July 1, 2023, the district must verify the benefit of placing students in coursework that is not transfer-level coursework by demonstrating the following:
- The student is highly unlikely to succeed in transfer-level English or mathematics that satisfies a requirement for the intended certificate or associate’s degree, or a requirement for transfer within the intended major; and
- The enrollment will improve the student’s probability of completing transfer-level mathematics or English coursework that satisfies a requirement for the intended certificate or associate degree, or a requirement for transfer within the intended major, within a one-year timeframe.
Districts unable to verify the benefit cannot recommend or require students to enroll in that course after July 1, 2024, and must notify the students who continue to enroll that the course is optional and does not improve their chances of completing subsequent coursework that satisfies a requirement for their intended certificate or associate degree or a requirement for transfer within their intended major.
Additionally, by July 1, 2024, for calculus-based associate degrees or transfer majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) districts must examine the impact of placing and enrolling students into transfer-level course sequences, composed of no more than two transfer-level courses that prepare students for their first STEM calculus course, in order to verify the benefit of the coursework. Districts that are unable to verify the benefit cannot recommend or require students to enroll in the course after July 1, 2025, and must notify students who continue to enroll in the course that it is optional and does not improve their chances of completing calculus for their STEM program.
Effective July 1, 2023, additional restrictions are placed on districts with respect to the type of information districts can consider and use to justify placing students in pretransfer coursework.
The bill exempts the following from its transfer-level placement and enrollment into mathematics and English coursework requirements:
- Students who have not graduated from a United States high school or been issued a high school equivalency certificate.
- Students enrolled in a certificate program without English or mathematics requirements.
- Students enrolled in a noncredit ESL course who have not graduated from a United States high school or been issued a high school equivalency certificate.
- Students with documented disabilities in educational assistance classes, as described in Section 56028 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, who are otherwise not able to benefit from general college classes even with appropriate academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and services.
- Students enrolled in adult education programs who have not graduated from a United States high school or been issued a high school equivalency certificate or who are enrolled in coursework other than mathematics or English.
- Current high school students in dual enrollment or taking courses not available in their local high school.
- The community college provides local research and data verifying the benefit of the placement and enrollment into transfer-level coursework that does not satisfy a requirement for the intended certificate or associate degree or a requirement for transfer within the intended major.
- College-level placement and enrollment in lieu of transfer-level placement and enrollment may occur for students in career technical programs seeking a certificate or associate degree with specific requirements, as dictated by the program’s advisory or accrediting body, that cannot be satisfied with transfer-level coursework.
- College-level placement and enrollment in lieu of transfer-level placement and enrollment may occur for specific subgroups of students for whom a community college district or community college has provided local research and data meeting the evidence standards pursuant to subdivisions (e) and (f) that allow for the placement and enrollment of the student subgroup into pretransfer-level mathematics or English coursework.
Finally, the bill requires beginning July 1, 2023, the Chancellor’s Office of the California Community Colleges to make available on its website a dashboard containing multiyear data, beginning from 2015. The data must be updated annually and must contain data submitted to the chancellor’s office by community colleges on student progression and completion of transfer-level English, mathematics, and ESL courses, disaggregated by community colleges and by 12 specified subgroup classifications.
(AB 1705 amends Section 78213 of, and adds Sections 78212.5 and 78213.1 to the Education Code.)