Say goodbye to placement testing. Prerequisite courses will no longer be needed for students to get into math and english classes at a transfer level.

This is due to a California bill signed by former Gov. Jerry Brown in 2017, known as Assembly Bill 705.

The objective of AB 705 is to ensure that students are not placed into remedial courses that may “delay or deter” a students educational progress. The only exception is if it’s highly improbable for the student to thrive in the college-level course.

“The nature of the new legislature is to not let students get trapped in non-transfer courses,” said Lisa McPheron, director of campus communications at Fullerton College

The bill officially took effect on January 1, 2018. Each college is to ‘maximize the probability’ a student will enter and finish transfer-level coursework in the subjects of math and english within a year.

All community colleges are required to comply to AB 705 by the fall 2019 semester.

“The goal of AB 705 on our campus is to have more students passing math while at the same time help them save money,” said Mark Greenhalgh dean of the math & computer science division at Fullerton College.

In addition, placement testing for both english and mathematics will be removed and support classes will be provided.

flow chart

A flow chart image implies how bill AB 705 works to place students in transfer level courses. Requiring no lower division classes as a prerequisite. Photo credit: California Community Colleges Chancellors Office.

Support classes for mathematics are not required, but are heavily encouraged since most students fail college algebra and statistics. The curriculum of the support classes is designed to help students pass their college-level math course and will not require a textbook. Instead, group assignments, worksheets, basic study skills, as well as time management, will be taught.

Courses such as english second language [ESL] that provide additional assistance for those whose first language is not english, are to be taken the same semester they take a transfer-level english. That is only if it will strengthen their chance of passing the course. The reading department will be completely removed from the college’s class schedule.

“There are pros and cons to this, but I feel the level of difficulty for students can eventually fireback and be discouraging,” said Shannon Esmas, a nursing student.

“Students that have not been in school for years and wish to return are not being taken into account, but it will push students to finish faster instead of prolonging their stay,” added Esmas.

AB 705 aims to help push students to success. It says it will reduce persistent achievement gaps by race/ethnicity and reduce a student’s time-to-degree and increase successful student outcomes, according to the Campaign for College Opportunity.

For more information about the Assembly Bill at Fullerton College, please visit: https://counseling.fullcoll.edu/ab705/ or contact the counseling office.

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