SACRAMENTO – High school students now have an expanded opportunity to enroll in summer community college courses, thanks to a bill authored by Assemblywoman Christy Smith signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom.
“I am so proud to see this legislation become California law, as dual enrollment programs have been shown to improve college readiness, reduce the time and debt involved in attaining a degree and close the achievement gap for underrepresented students,” said Smith, D-Santa Clarita. “A lifelong education advocate, I’m pleased Governor Newsom signed AB 1729 to expand pathways to college and create brighter futures and avenues of success for our students.”
On the passage and signing of the bill, Smith partnered with College of the Canyons, of which she is an alumna, in the 38th Assembly District. AB 1729 creates an exception for the 5 percent grade level rule regarding high-school enrollment in community colleges. The bill also rounds out previous legislation authored by Smith addressing educational equity that was signed into law.
“AB 1729 will help more students succeed in college,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “By taking college classes, high school students not only gain valuable career skills and earn general education units that transfer to a four-year university, but they also have a chance to experience firsthand that they can be successful in college. This gives them the confidence to continue with college after high school, and puts them on a path toward achieving their academic goals. We appreciate Assemblywoman Smith initiating AB 1729 in order to remove the arbitrary barrier of limiting the number of high school students who can get a jumpstart on college in the summer months. An added benefit for students and their families is that College of the Canyons waives enrollment fees for high school students, which helps reduce the cost of college and reliance on student loans.”
AB 1729 will take effect on January 1, 2020.
Assemblywoman Christy Smith represents California’s 38th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Agua Dulce, Castaic, Santa Susana Knolls and North San Fernando Valley.