PCC Recognized for Opening Access to College-Level English and Math

First college in state to completely move from remedial to college-level courses

PHOTO: Pasadena.edu | SouthPasadenan.com News | Pasadena City College campus

News provided by Pasadena City College

The Campaign for College Opportunity singled out Pasadena City College today as one of 40 institutions around the state that have increased access to college-level courses in English and math.

At the inaugural Excellence in Placement award ceremony in downtown Los Angeles today, community college campuses were honored for implementing landmark placement policy AB 705, championed by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin and signed into law in 2017. Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin joined the celebration for remarks and to award colleges for their achievements.

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Prior to AB 705, the vast majority of incoming community college students were being placed into remedial math and English courses that ultimately discouraged and derailed students on their college journeys. Over a decade of research has shown that students’ likelihood of earning a degree decreases when they start college in remedial courses.

At PCC, AB 705’s implementation in 2019 led to large increases in college-level math and English. Enrollment in both subjects went up nearly 1,000 students compared to the year prior, and 400 more students passed each subject than they did in 2018.

“This effort has proven that it’s time for us to show that we believe in our students,” said Erika Endrijonas, superintendent/president of PCC. “Trusting them to perform at the college level means that we accept them as college students instead of selling them short.

“It’s been an honor to see our faculty, administrators, and students work together to make these changes for our students. This work invigorates us and inspires us. We are grateful to the Campaign for College Opportunity and Asm. Irwin for this honor.”

AB 705 has proven to be highly consequential for increasing access to transfer-level coursework, maximizing student success, and closing racial/ethnic equity gaps across the state. By starting in transfer-level English, completion rates have tripled for Black students and more than doubled for Latinx students. In math, completion rates have quadrupled for Black students and Latinx students. Many colleges are also being recognized with equity designations for supporting Black and Latinx students to access and succeed in transfer-level math and English.

About Pasadena City College: 

Since 1924, Pasadena City College has provided the San Gabriel Valley with a high-quality, innovative learning environment that inspires student success. Our academic programs encompass a variety of degrees, transfer programs, certificates of achievement, and occupational skills certificates that challenge students and support progress toward their goals.

In 2019-20, PCC was ranked #1 in the state for transfers to the CSU and UC systems for the third consecutive year, and in 2021, PCC was named by MacKenzie Scott as one of “286 Teams Empowering Voices the World Needs to Hear,” accompanied by a transformative $30 million gift.

About Campaign for College Opportunity:

The Campaign for College Opportunity is a California non-profit bipartisan policy and research organization focused on a single mission:  to ensure all Californians have an equal opportunity to attend and succeed in college in order to build a vibrant workforce, economy and democracy.