Friday, December 19, 2014

An update on SB 850 includes hopes of making the Master Plan relevant again

also at Sac Bee in Dan Walters column: Community colleges’ good move

One of those occasions was last August, when both legislative houses, without a single dissenting vote, passed Senate Bill 850, which – on a limited, pilot basis – grants some community college districts the authority to offer four-year bachelor’s degree programs.

His fellow legislators heeded Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, who argued that with demand for college-educated workers and applications for slots in the state’s universities outstripping supply, and with university costs soaring, it makes no sense to artificially restrict classes at low-cost community colleges.


Allowing community colleges to offer baccalaureate programs could respond to both problems, even if it breaches the pedagogic demarcation lines of the state’s half-century-old Master Plan for Higher Education.

But that means the plan is out of sync with 21st-century reality and needs a top-to-bottom overhaul. Former Gov. Pat Brown played a leading role in writing the plan, and his son, Gov. Jerry Brown, who signed SB 850, should take the lead in making it relevant again.

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