Champion of Higher Education


Grossmont College has been named a 2021 Champion of Higher Education for its exemplary work in implementing the Associate Degree for Transfer program that provides a streamlined pathway between California’s community colleges and four-year colleges and universities.   


The El Cajon campus is among the state’s top performers in associate degrees for transfer awarded per 50 full-time students. It also ranked No. 12 in California for community college ADT degrees and ranks No. 52 nationally for associate degrees awarded to minorities nationwide.


 “This award means a great deal to the Grossmont College community as it underscores our commitment to equity and access for our students,” said Grossmont College President Denise Whisenhunt, who added that Grossmont College sends more transfer students to San Diego State University than any community college in the nation. “We are truly honored by this recognition.”


The California Community Colleges system and partnering institutions created the transfer program to make it easier for community college students to have a guaranteed saved spot at a participating four-year college or university.  Campaign for College Opportunity President Michele Siqueiros said Grossmont College served as an impetus for 2009 legislation that led to the Associate Degree for Transfer program, which has played a critical role in boosting the number of California community college students transferring to a California State University campus from 67,284 in 2011-2012 to more than 100,000 in 2020-2021. Since the legislation’s passage, the California Community Colleges system has awarded more than 359,000 associate degrees for transfer in all.


The Campaign for College Opportunity is a nonprofit devoted to ensuring the next generation of college-age students in California has the chance to go to college and succeed. It was founded in 2003 by the California Business Roundtable, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Community College League of California.