Welcoming more transfer students from California community colleges is the goal of a new agreement that includes Fresno Pacific University.

Under the agreement, signed July 25, 2018, by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU), California community college students pursuing an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) can receive guaranteed acceptance, credit for their coursework and streamlined transfer processes at 36 private, non-profit, four-year colleges and universities throughout the state.

FPU is the only participating college or university in the Central Valley. “Transfer students have long been important to Fresno Pacific University,” said FPU President Joseph Jones, Ph.D. “We are proud to offer them a smoother path as they complete their dream of earning a bachelor’s degree.”

The transfer program fits FPU’s mission, since more than 95 percent of its students come from California and a large majority of them from the Central Valley. The university’s students represent the face of the region, with 49 percent being the first in their families to attend college or university, and about 45 percent identifying as Latinx, making Fresno Pacific a Hispanic Serving Institution.

FPU has the region’s highest graduation rates, with 53 percent of students completing their degree in four years, and 58 percent in six years. Both Hispanic and first-generation students graduate at the same rate as students in general. A two-year graduation guarantee and special academic scholarships are already available to qualified transfer students. The graduation guarantee applies to students who come to Fresno Pacific with an ADT and study in either the traditional undergraduate or bachelor’s degree completion program for adult learners.

Students earning an ADT—also known as a “Degree with a Guarantee”—have been assured acceptance to a California State University campus since the 2011-12 academic year. The program’s expansion will help the California Community Colleges meet the ambitious goals set forth in its Vision for Success, which, among other things, calls for substantial increases in the number of students transferring to a four-year college or university each year.

“Projections from the Public Policy Institute of California say the state will by 2030 have a shortage of 1.1 million workers holding a bachelor’s degree needed to meet workforce demands,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “The Associate Degree for Transfer program is vital to our economy, and we are proud to work with the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities in providing our students additional opportunities to further their education and help guarantee their chances of achieving upward social mobility.”

The ADT has proven a success since its adoption. Nearly half of students with the degree earn a bachelor’s degree from a California State University campus within two years, compared to just 27 percent for traditional transfer students, according to the 2017 Campaign for College Opportunity report.

Participating AICCU schools, as outlined in the agreement, will also collaborate with community colleges in providing pre-enrollment information and advice to interested community colleges students and engage in discussions about potential pathways toward a bachelor’s degree.

“AICCU has been actively engaged with Governor Jerry Brown’s administration and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to open up a guaranteed transfer pathway for community college students to transfer to an independent California institution,” said AICCU President Kristen Soares. “Our commitment today will provide tremendous help toward creating new regional college access opportunities for transfer students to attend an institution that best meets their educational goals and increases their opportunity to succeed.”

The demand is there. One in five of all community college students nationwide are enrolled in a California community college, and approximately seven in 10 California community college students declare transferring to a four-year college or university as their intended goal.

AICCU ADT Participating Institution by Term

Academic Year 2018-2019 (Begin accepting applications in fall 2018)

  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Brandman University
  • California Baptist University
  • California Baptist University Online
  • California Institute of Integral Studies
  • California Lutheran University
  • The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • Concordia University Irvine
  • Fresno Pacific University
  • Golden Gate University
  • Holy Names University
  • Humphreys University
  • La Sierra University
  • Los Angeles Pacific University
  • Mills College
  • Mount Saint Mary’s University
  • National University
  • Pacific Oaks College
  • Pacific Union College
  • Palo Alto University
  • Pepperdine University
  • San Diego Christian College
  • Simpson University
  • University of La Verne
  • University of Redlands
  • University of Saint Katherine
  • University of San Francisco
  • Whittier College

(Begin accepting applications in spring 2019)

  • Marymount California University
  • Notre Dame de Namur University
  • Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Saint Mary’s College of California
  • University of the West
  • Westmont College
  • William Jessup University

Academic Year 2019-2020 (Begin accepting applications in fall 2019)

  • John Paul the Great Catholic University


The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) comprises 82 private nonprofit colleges and universities, which make up the Independent California Colleges and Universities (ICCU) sector. The sector plays a pivotal role in developing the state’s model higher education offerings and in making California a symbol of innovation across the globe. ICCU institutions award over 20 percent of all undergraduate degrees and over 50 percent of graduate degrees, making them the largest preparers of the state’s advanced workforce.

About California Community Colleges

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 72 districts and 114 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, California community colleges provide career education and workforce training, guaranteed transfer to four-year universities, degree and certificate pathways and basic skills education in English and math. 

More at aiccu.edu/2018/07/25/new-california-community-colleges-agreement-aiccu-marks-major-expansion-associate-degree-transfer-program/



Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations