State Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, who authored SB 1456, said the new legislation will direct critical support services to community college students and help to pave a better path to graduation.
"It is unacceptable that more than 50 percent of community college students are not graduating or transferring within six years," Lowenthal said in a statement. "SB1456 is the first step toward a community college system that is refocused and rededicated to student success and achievement."
Long Beach City College President Eloy Oakley, who supported the bill, commended Gov. Jerry Brown and Lowenthal for their work.
"This new law will implement reforms aimed at increasing the number of students that obtain a meaningful college credential and supports efforts to close the achievement gap that exists in higher education," Oakley said in a statement.
Among the key initiatives:
-- Students will be required to participate in a first-year orientation and develop an education plan to ensure they are placed in the right courses.
-- Colleges will be required to post a "student success score card" on their websites as a condition for receiving certain funds. The tool is meant to help measure a college's progress on student success.
-- Students will receive incentives, such as fee waivers, for meeting their educational goals.
The bill passed the Senate in May with a bipartisan vote of 33-1. In August, the bill passed the Assembly unanimously.
The bill comes at a time of change for the California Community College system. On Thursday, California Community Colleges named veteran administrator Brice Harris as the new leader of the nation's largest system of public higher education.
Harris, who previously headed the Los Rios Community College District, will start his job as the 15th chancellor of the state's 112-campus system Nov. 6. He will replace Jack Scott, who retired this month after more than 3 1/2 years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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