Do’s and Don’ts for Community College Students
What to Know When Signing up for Classes

By Karina Paredes, Public Advocates

There are a few things you should know before you sign up for next semester’s classes, especially if you want to transfer to a four-year college. Students have often been placed in remedial pre-transfer classes, often to their detriment

DO: Enroll directly in transfer-level math and English

In 2017, California passed AB 705 which requires colleges to place students in transferable, college-level courses unless they could prove that a student would be “highly unlikely to succeed” and needed a remedial course to improve their chance of completing transfer-level math or English within a year. Research shows direct enrollment significantly increases your chances of completing college-level courses and transferring to a 4-year college

DO: Talk to your counselor or trusted faculty to explore taking corequisite support courses with your math or English course

When students enroll in a transfer-level math course AND a corequisite support course compared to a pre-transfer course, their chances of succeeding increase from 31% to 89 %. Not all colleges offer this dual support course. Talk to a trusted college faculty member to decide what is offered at your campus and what would best help you succeed.

DO: Talk to Public Advocates if you have any questions!

Contact our Student Engagement and Policy Associate, Karina Paredes, if you would like to learn more about this issue or need support in getting access to transfer-level English and math at your campus. Email Karina at

DON’T: Waste time, money, and energy on pre-transfer remedial education courses

Remedial education courses add unnecessary time, financial costs and redundant non-transferable units to your community college journey.

DON’T: Take math or English placement tests. These tests are illegal.

Placement tests for math and English courses were eliminated with the passage of AB 705. Your placement should be based on high school grades and coursework, not an arbitrary test.

DON’T: Think you are not ready for college-level transfer-level English and math courses. You can succeed!

The research is on your side! Research shows that you are better off starting in a transfer-level English or math course instead of a remedial pre-transfer course. Many students have benefited from this law, and you can too! 

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