Kinkead, Isaacson: Bill would enable students to easily transfer from community college to PASSHE

HARRISBURG, March 1 -- State Reps. Emily Kinkead and Mary Isaacson have introduced a measure that would make it easier for community college students to transfer to a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education university.

Kinkead, D-Allegheny, said more and more students are beginning their higher education careers at a community college due to increasing costs. To help these students obtain their bachelor’s degree in a timely manner, her bill would provide guaranteed PASSHE university admission for community college students who complete an approved associate degree for transfer program.

“Each year, roughly 300,000 students begin their higher education journey at a community college before transferring to another university to finish their degree,” Kinkead said. “Our state has made significant strides to help streamline that transfer process, and this legislation would make that process even easier without requiring students to take on crippling financial debt. Community colleges are critical in making higher education accessible and affordable to the most students, especially as we work to address equity in education and economic opportunity. This program has been quite successful in California and I’m confident our state can reap similar rewards, encouraging students to achieve baccalaureate degrees and improve overall access to cost-effective higher education.”

“Every college student’s pathway to higher education is incredibly different and not always based upon their academic potential and interest,” Isaacson, D-Philadelphia, said. “Far too often, educational pursuits are based upon a student’s ability to pay overwhelmingly increasing costs for tuition as well as navigate a financial aid and admissions process that puts too many Pennsylvanians at a great disadvantage. With this in mind, it is vital that we support students who start their education at a community college and create a clear pathway to not only graduation and an associate degree, but enrollment and successful transition to a four-year university if that is where their path or career choice takes them. No student’s dreams, ambitions or career should be limited or overburdened by their initial choice to enroll at a local community college in Pennsylvania. House Bill 705 will help us address and resolve those limitations and lack of accessibility.”

More information on the bill can be found at the following link: