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Governor signs bills to boost graduation rates at California universities

Commencement ceremonies at Cal State Northridge. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Commencement ceremonies at Cal State Northridge. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills Wednesday intended to help students graduate from California public colleges and universities in four years.

One bill would create programs at Cal State campuses to give students extra support from academic advisers and priority registration in classes. Students in the programs would need to take a minimum number of credits and maintain a qualifying GPA.

"Many students at the CSU want to finish in four years, but they need help in charting the path," state Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda), the bill's author, said in a statement. "This bill directs resources to students who likely need the most help and will boost their chances of getting a bachelor's degree in four years."

Low-income and first-generation students, as well as community college graduates and students from communities with low college attendance rates, would be given priority to participate in the programs. They would also have to be eligible for in-state tuition.

In his bill-signing announcement, Brown also commended a new initiative approved by CSU trustees Wednesday to double the system's four-year graduation rate to 40%.

The other bill would provide $15 million in grant funding for community colleges to improve college graduation rates by partnering with high schools or public universities.

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