Interim Chancellor Gonzales speaks to Telecom and Journalism students about the Associate Degree for Transfer program, the Expanded Baccalaureate Degree program, the FAFSA, the Undocumented Student Action Week and the impact of the 5th Circuit Court decision on the DACA program
“We want all students to know that the campus of California community colleges welcomes them regardless of their residency status,” Interim Chancellor Daisy Gonzales said Oct. 6 to attendees of the Chancellor’s Office of California Community Colleges’ first media teleconference for undergraduate students Academics 2022-23 year. “We are deeply troubled by yesterday’s decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, finding that the DACA program violates federal law.” She explained that the court’s decision allows current DACA recipients to receive an immediate disruption of their lives and urged anyone with DACA status to apply for an extension as soon as possible.
Gonzales focused her remarks on four areas: Action week for undocumented students (Oct. 17-21) (enclosing an update of the Court of Appeals’ recent ruling), Free Application Open Date for Federal Student Aid (FASA) (Oct. 1), Deadline for Associate Degree for Transfer (Oct . Nov.) and an update to the now permanent and expanded Baccalaureate Degree Program.
“The governor has signed some really important legislation that I want to make sure you know about because our common purpose is to give people hope,” Gonzales said. State legislatures passed two bills during this legislature that will positively impact undocumented students: AB 540 allows undocumented students to qualify for state tuition, and SB 1141 removes the two-year cap on credit courses leading to the Achievement of AB 540 status can be counted.
Gonzales emphasized what she said was her commitment to all students, explaining that California Community Colleges (CCC) are trying to create a system where students feel like they belong and are given the support they need to succeed to be. In support of their mission and to engage and activate students, faculty, staff and administrators in support of the needs of undocumented students, CCC and its partners are hosting an Undocumented Student Action Week (October 17-21) at the 116 CCCs. “Juntos Podemos (Together we can): Collaborative ecosystems to support undocumented students” is this year’s theme.
The CCC Undocumented Student Resource Centers attempt to help students contact immigration and other support services. Gonzales urged DACA students, faculty and staff to schedule a free appointment with a legal provider as soon as possible to renew their DACA application (new DACA applications will not be accepted). Students can visit them FindYourAlly.com to be connected to a free legal service provider. Students can also find a resource center on their campus ICanGoToCollege.com Website.
Students can use the from October 1st Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Application for the academic year 2023/24. Gonzales said the FAFSA could be accessed through the ICanGoToCollege.com website and shifted her focus to financial aid. FAFSA is the pathway to federal, state, local and institutional financial assistance. Undocumented students can access financial aid through the California Dream Act application, which is now accepting applications for the 2023-24 academic year. She encouraged students to apply for financial aid as soon as possible to help determine their scholarship levels and plan for the next school year.
Gonzales then focused her remarks on academic details. November 30 is the deadline for students to submit their application for promotion to most four-year universities for the Fall 2023-24 academic year. Highlighting how unique California is, Gonzales spoke about a key element of the program: California Community College associate degree graduates are guaranteed a place at a participating CSU, UC, HBCU or private nonprofit through the Associate Degree for Transfer program. She encouraged the students to do so Contact the transfer office as soon as possible to ensure they have met the requirements and to secure their place.
Towards the end of the conference call, Gonzales provided an update on CCC’s Baccalaureate Degree Program. Last year, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB927, and the baccalaureate degree pilot program became permanent. This year, the CCC Board of Governors approved three additional degrees. There are currently 15 undergraduate programs, each individually designed for specific colleges and carefully selected based on the workforce needs in each region. The goal is barrier-free bachelor’s degrees that lead directly to jobs in the region. The cost for students enrolled in a CCC for a bachelor’s degree and taking lower division courses is $46 per unit. Senior classes have an additional fee of $84, bringing the total fee to $130 per senior session.
Glendale College’s Admissions and Records Office confirmed that while GCC offers Associate of Arts degrees, Associate of Science degrees, Certificates of Achievement and Associate for Transfer degrees, GCC does not currently offer baccalaureate or bachelor’s degrees.
During her presentation, the interim chancellor was happy to share her work history within the CCC system and her role in leading the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility of the system – work that remains a top priority. She expressed excitement at being with the students on their first Student Media teleconference, an event that opens an important line of communication between the students and the office that represents them at the state level.
An August 4 press release highlights Gonzales’ work experience within the CCC system. “With her institutional knowledge of the progress of the system towards the Vision for Success and her tax and political expertise, Dr. Gonzales is the perfect person to lead California community colleges at this time,” said Pamela Haynes, president of the board of governors for California community colleges. “With their support, the system has reached an all-time high in completion and transfer results, but there is still work to be done. We value the collaborative and innovative leadership of Dr. Gonzales and her passion to continue serving our students.”
To schedule a no-cost appointment with a Transfer Center representative before the November 30 deadline for assistance and to learn more about the Associate Degree for Transfer program, see: https://www.glendale.edu/students/student-services/transfer-center
You can find more information about the free application for Federal Student Aid (FASA) at: https://www.glendale.edu/financial-aid-fees/financial-aid
For more information on financial aid sources, visit: https://icangotocollege.com/financial-aid
To learn more about the Undocumented Student Action Week October 17-21 see: https://www.glendale.edu/students/student-services/multicultural-community-engagement-center-mcec/dream-resource-center/undocumented-student-action-week
For more information on DACA support for GCCs, see: https://www.glendale.edu/students/student-services/multicultural-community-engagement-center-mcec/dream-resource-center
For information on free immigration legal services and case support offered by Higher Education Legal Services to students, staff, and faculty on campuses at California community colleges statewide or virtually, visit: https://findyoually.com/
The Career Service program provides students with the opportunity to assess their life priorities and development needs, research up-to-date professional and academic information, and receive individualized support in defining and achieving their career and educational goals. For free career advice go to: https://www.glendale.edu/students/student-services/career-center/services-resources/career-counseling