Volume 46 Number 2
Sponsor of landmark transfer bill
Just hours after he worked into the morning to help secure a long overdue state budget, Cupertino Assembly Member Paul Fong was in attendance at CCA’s fall conference to accept the annual CCA 2010 Legislator of the Year award.
A former political science professor at Evergreen Valley College and a trustee at Foothill-DeAnza Community College District, Fong has been an advocate for community colleges since he was elected to the 22nd Assembly District in 2008.
Fong’s recent legislation included the landmark community college transfer legislation, AB 2302, which will develop a more streamlined transfer pathway to the UC and CSU system for community college students.
Following the ceremony, Fong commented, “One of my top priorities in the legislature is to make higher education more accessible for everyone. My time as a student at my local community college made me the person I am today; however, I like many other students, experienced difficulty with transferring to a four-year college. My goal when elected was to make the tricky transfer pathway clearer to help all students navigate the system successfully and quickly.”
He added, “This award is for the students, teachers, staff, and organizations that make California’s higher education system what it is today, and continue to work to make it even better for tomorrow. I look forward to continuing our work together.”
According to the Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy at CSU Sacramento, the vast majority of California college students start their college education at a community college; however, only 25 percent of students who start at a community college successfully transfer to a 4-year university. It is crucial that a new transfer process is created now to meet the future demands of California.
AB 2302, which creates a more efficient, student-centered process for students, was signed by the Governor on Sept. 30.
“It’s high time that we have student transfer process that is for the students—that takes into consideration their needs. AB 2302 marks an important step towards not only saving the state and students money, but towards meeting California’s future workforce demands,” Fong said. “I’m excited for California’s students because now they will be able to efficiently earn the degrees that will allow them to accomplish what they want and need to for our great state.”
Fong is also the author of AB 1903, which provides a one-stop-shop web site that allows California job seekers to search for jobs, explore other career fields, then register at their local community college for courses that can help them get job training in other fields. In addition, he authored AB 1807, which helps teachers get jobs by allowing eligible part time faculty at California Community Colleges to get first consideration during the colleges’ hiring process.
“For his commitment and leadership in the area of education, and his continued willingness to fight for community college students and faculty, we are proud to name Paul Fong as the CCA Legislator of the Year,” CCA President Ron Norton Reel stated.
Fong serves as Chair of the Elections and Redistricting Committee and is a member of the Banking and Finance, Higher Education, and Utilities and Commerce Committees. In addition, Assembly Member Fong serves on the Select Committees on Aerospace, Biotechnology, Community Colleges, Domestic Violence, and Innovation and the Bay Area Economy. He represents Cupertino, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose.