Assembly member Das Williams’ bill to require California community colleges to develop a uniform policy for awarding general-education credit for students who pass an Advanced Placement exam has been signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

AB 1985 requires the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, in conjunction with the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, to develop and adopt a uniform policy to award credit for general-education courses to a student who passes an AP exam. Currently, AP exam credit and placement policies vary throughout community colleges.

“This is an important bill that opens wide paths for students to move through the community college system in the most efficient way possible,” said Williams, (D-Carpinteria). “My hope is that this bill will improve degree completion time, decrease the cost of education, reduce class sizes, and improve equity and access in the classroom.”

Students take AP exams to bolster their chances of getting into a selective college or because they hope to get credit for a college class. Others sign up because they want to finish college early or because they want to save money by not having to take the same class in college.

According to the College Board, a not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity, 24 out of 113 California community colleges require scores of four for credit. Six community colleges require a score of five and another 10 have no AP policy at all.

This inconsistency across the community college system, Williams said, creates confusion and is an unnecessary barrier to students who have earned college credit and are entering community colleges.

Josh Molina for Assembly member Das Williams.