Glazer’s “California Promise” bill to improve four-year graduation rates at CSU campuses

Bill, which offers priority registration and academic advising to students, passes key legislative hurdle

Sacramento, CA – The Assembly on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved Sen. Steve Glazer’s groundbreaking legislation to smooth the way for California State University students to graduate in four years.

Senate Bill 412, establishing the “California Promise,” proposes to boost CSU’s 4-year graduation rate which, at 18.6 percent, is 25 percent lower than the national average for comparable public universities. Some CSU campuses’ four-year graduation rates hover at or below 10 percent.

Glazer’s bill was jointly-authored with Senate President Pro Tem, Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles. It now awaits further action in the Senate.

“This legislation will allow CSU students to break through the logjam that has left too many students with graduation roadblocks and high debt,” said Glazer, D-Orinda, a former CSU Trustee.

Senator de Leon said: “Since 2015, the Senate has fought for access, affordability and completion for California students in higher education. SB 412 is an important piece of this agenda. I am proud to joint-author this bill, which will help California students, particularly those from low-income families, complete college in four years.”

Under the California Promise program, CSU students would be offered priority registration and academic advising as long as they commit to completing 30 semester units each year and meet any other guidelines set by individual campuses.

Low-income, underrepresented or first-generation college students who fulfill the requirements would be guaranteed admission into California Promise programs. Qualified community college transfer students would also be guaranteed slots in the California Promise.

CSU Trustees would be required to develop and implement a California Promise program at a minimum of eight CSU campuses and at 15 CSU campuses for qualifying transfer students beginning in the 2017-18 academic year. More campuses would be added in future years.

CSU students and their families pay up to $26,000 per year in tuition, books and living expenses for every extra year in college, according to the Campaign for College Opportunity.

“We know that our CSU leadership is committed to student success,” Glazer said. “The California Promise will add to the effort, giving students the tools and setting a pathway for better results.

“This program’s success will save students and their families hundreds of millions of dollars every year,” Glazer added. “It will free up seats for new students, save the state money and get better qualified students into the workforce sooner. It is projected that we will be one million degrees short in meeting industry demand in the next ten years. This program will help us meet that need.”

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