Monday, September 29, 2014

Gov Signs CCC Bachelor Degrees Leg.

Sac Bee:
Jerry Brown Approves Community College Bachelor's Degrees


“This is landmark legislation that is a game changer for California’s higher education system and our workforce preparedness,” state Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, who authored the bill, said in a statement. “SB 850 boosts the focus of our community colleges on job training and increasing the accessibility and affordability of our state’s higher education system.”

Brown also vetoed Assembly Bill 46 from Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, which would have required California State University to share performance data from online courses with its faculty academic senates.

In a veto message, Brown called the bill unnecessary, and cited student privacy and cost issues.

“I am aware of the deep concerns that the sponsor of the bill has expressed regarding online courses,” Brown wrote. “These courses, however, could play an important role in helping to reduce the bottleneck that too often prevents students from graduating on time.”

“This is one of the reasons I believe that we should not unduly limit the introduction of online courses in the Cal State system.”

Brown has been a strong supporter of online education, including a 2013 experiment at San Jose State University that was cancelled after dismal early results, prompting Pan’s legislation.

so, check out those leg. moves above and then read: Is College Still Worth It? Christopher Newfield on Aspiring Adults Adrift, Los Angeles Review of Books
And yet Academically Adrift did offer a choice between two stories. The visible media story was that colleges keep jacking up prices on a shoddy product. Students and faculty have agreed to ask almost nothing of each other while covering that up. To keep the money coming in, university management stresses student engagement rather than academic rigor. Therefore, what colleges need are tougher discipline, reduced subsidies, mandated focus on learning outcomes, and rigorous learning assessment, coming from managerial bodies not controlled by the faculty.

The book’s second story was the reverse. Colleges aren’t too far from business but too close. They have been making their students business-ready for years by bolting vocational majors to the liberal arts and sciences core. It turns out that these vocational majors offer limited learning, which are the main college source of post-1980s declines. The college crisis was not that college was offering bad academic subjects, but that college had added a lot of non-academic subjects in an effort to address workforce needs. Therefore, the best way to fix academia would be to let it be academic again, renewing its focus on the liberal arts and sciences. This would mean getting business out of the way.

It was of course “our failing colleges” that got the A-side listing. The B-side, “our failing pragmatism: how a market focus hurt college learning” — never got played.

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