SPRINGFIELD – Illinois students will soon have an easier time transferring across public colleges and universities without having to repeat courses they have already earned major credit for, thanks to an initiative championed by State Senator Cristina Castro that was signed into law Friday.

“The first iteration of the Illinois Articulation Initiative was a success,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “Now that we have a blueprint set in place, it’s time to expand transfer equivalency to all major courses so that our students can graduate without barriers and begin a meaningful career.”

In 2016, the General Assembly passed the Illinois Articulation Initiative Act. The Act codified a longstanding statewide agreement known as the Illinois Articulation Initiative by requiring that all public institutions, both community colleges and universities, participate in IAI through submission and review of their courses for statewide transfer consistency.

Previously, general education courses were required to be transferable as a part of the General Education Core Curriculum package. However, higher education institutions had the option of accepting IAI major courses either as direct course equivalents or as elective credit. As a result, some students transferring to a public university have had to repeat courses they already completed at a community college because their university did not recognize the course as fulfilling the requirements for the major.

Castro’s law expands the Illinois Articulation Initiative by requiring public colleges and universities to accept all major courses approved for transfer as equivalent major courses, as long as that major is offered at the receiving institution. This change protects students from having to repeat courses, thereby saving them money and reducing their time to degree completion.

“The data tells us that it’s already harder for lower-income students to get a four-year degree, even when they start out at a community college,” Castro said. “Under this new law, students transferring to a four-year college will be able to do so quickly and more affordably.”

Senate Bill 2288 was signed into law Friday and takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.