Small classes, accessible faculty, and supportive advisers help community college transfer students succeed at La Sierra.

When the California legislature created the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) program about 10 years ago, La Sierra University was already ahead of the curve. 

“La Sierra has always welcomed transfer students from community colleges,” says Provost Dr. April Summitt, former dean of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences. “But since the ADT program began, we’ve streamlined our processes to make it easier than ever for community college transfer students to finish a bachelor’s degree at La Sierra.”

Designed to help community college students transfer successfully to four-year schools, the ADT (also known as “the degree with a guarantee”) provides thousands of California students with a blueprint for a bachelor’s degree. La Sierra currently accepts ADTs in 21 disciplines, with pathways to completion for 46 bachelor’s degrees. The accepted ADTs enable community college transfer students to acquire marketable bachelor’s degrees from La Sierra in fields such as healthcare, information technology, criminal justice, and education.

But according to Summitt, the advantage of transferring to La Sierra goes beyond the number of degree options. It’s the quality of the student experience that sets La Sierra apart.“A lot of four-year institutions have built-in barriers that make it difficult for community college students to transition successfully,” she explains. “We’re just the opposite. In many respects, La Sierra is an ideal destination for community college transfers who want to build on their ADT.”

Here’s How La Sierra Promotes Success for ADT Students

Often referred to as “the degree with a guarantee,” the ADT originally included automatic admission to publicly funded four-year institutions in California. Over time, private institutions such as La Sierra became more active in the program. 

“In some ways, we’re a more natural fit for ADT students than the state schools,” says Summitt. “California’s public universities offer outstanding education, but they’re very different from most community colleges. We think community college transfer students can settle in very quickly at La Sierra.”

Here are four reasons why La Sierra is a great destination for ADT students:

1. Small classes. La Sierra classes typically have fewer than 30 students, a size that’s familiar to most community college transfers. “Our students are on a first-name basis with their professors,” Summitt says. “You don’t have to worry about navigating a large campus or getting lost in the crowd. La Sierra faculty are accessible and easy to talk to, and they’re focused on students. A transfer student from a community college can get a level of support that’s difficult to find at a bigger institution.”

2. Pre-transfer advising. La Sierra has a robust onboarding program to help students prepare for transfer while they’re still in community college. “If a student is interested in La Sierra,” Summitt says, “they can start working with one of our academic advisers before they transfer. That way you’ll already know our culture and our people on your very first day at La Sierra.” Students can always come to La Sierra for pre-transfer advising, but they may also be able to meet a La Sierra counselor on their own community college campus.

3. Financial incentives. “Although we’re a private college, we’re more competitive on price than students might think,” Summitt says. In addition to tapping federal loans and California state funding sources, community college transfer students can get support from La Sierra’s own grant, loan, and scholarship programs. The college’s financial aid office routinely works with community college students prior to transfer to ensure they meet deadlines, file the right paperwork, and get all the aid to which they’re entitled.

4. Career development. ADT students at La Sierra can equip themselves for careers in some of the fastest-growing industries and professions. “This is a particularly good place to prepare for healthcare careers,” Summitt notes, “because we have multiple preprofessional pathways and a strong partnership with Loma Linda University Medical Center, our sister institution.” Community college transfer students also can get first-rate professional training for jobs in information technology, law enforcement and education.

The bottom line, says Summitt, is that La Sierra is committed to helping community college transfer students succeed. “We’ve all rolled up our sleeves to find solutions,” she says. “Every student matters to us, and we’ll work with you individually to find solutions that address your particular needs.”

Is an ADT pathway right for you?

Want to learn more about La Sierra’s Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) policies? Contact us at (951) 785-2380, or email us at