UPDATED March 18, 2015

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California Community Colleges forges guaranteed transfer agreement with nine historically black colleges and universities

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Beginning fall 2015, California community college transfer students who meet certain academic criteria will be guaranteed admission to nine historically black colleges and universities, thanks to an agreement the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and the leaders of the institutions signed at the board’s meeting today.

“The California Community Colleges is working on multiple fronts to create avenues of opportunity for our students,” said California Community Colleges Board of Governors President Geoffrey L. Baum. “This agreement opens a new and streamlined transfer pathway for our students to some of the finest and culturally diverse institutions of higher learning in the United States. I thank our nine partners for working with us to make it possible.”

The nine HBCUs participating in the agreement are:

Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C.

Dillard University in New Orleans, La.

Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn.

Lincoln University of Missouri in Jefferson City, Mo.

Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark.

Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Talladega College in Talladega, Ala.

Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala.

Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.

Under the agreement, students who apply to the schools and obtain a transfer-level associate degree with a GPA of 2.5 or higher and complete either the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (accepted at both the University of California and California State University), or the California State University General Education Breadth pattern, will be guaranteed admission with junior standing.

A second option to earn guaranteed admission requires transfer students to earn 30 or more CSU or UC transferrable units with a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Other advantages conferred to transfer students under the agreement include priority consideration for housing, consideration for transfer scholarships for students with a 3.2 or higher GPA, and pre-admission advising.

For certain majors, students may need to fulfill additional prerequisites and other requirements.
Eight of the participating colleges and universities are private institutions. Lincoln University of Missouri is public, and will offer in-state tuition for California community college transfer students.

Today’s agreement supports a White House initiative, led by Dr. George Cooper, to strengthen and expand the capacity of HBCUs to provide quality higher education to students.

“California community college students and the nine participating schools will benefit immensely from the agreement,” said Cooper. “The schools will have an even larger pool of gifted students knocking on their doors and California community college students will be guaranteed transfer to four-year institutions with rich histories, traditions and track records of success.”

HBCUs were founded to serve the higher education needs of African-American students, though they are open to students of any ethnicity.

These colleges and universities are typically smaller in student size than other schools. Many classes are taught by professors rather than teaching assistants in a nurturing and supportive environment with many opportunities for student leadership development.

“We applaud Chancellor Brice W. Harris and the California Community Colleges 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.”

Jovon Duke, 22, attended El Camino College in Torrance, Calif. and transferred to Fisk University in 2013 because of its small class sizes and friendly, supportive atmosphere. “Fisk is such a tight-knitted community and Nashville is great. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to take on leadership positions and have made many friends and close relationships with my professors. I love it here,” said Duke. He plans on earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology and moving on to either Middle Tennessee State University or Case Western Reserve University to get a master’s degree in social work.

There are 105 HBCUs in the country, with most located in the South and East Coast.

Many HBCUs were founded following the Civil War, after the Morrell Act permitting the development of land grant colleges was signed by President Abraham Lincoln.

For more information on today’s agreement and the participating colleges and universities, please visit

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges , please visit,, or