Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Do we still have time to converse about that?

From the Daily Bruin:

A bill that would allow certain California community colleges to grant four-year degrees passed unanimously in the California State Senate Tuesday.  Community colleges are currently allowed to grant two-year associate degrees, but existing California law does not allow community colleges to instruct students beyond the second-year college curriculum.  California is one of 29 states that do not allow their community colleges to grant four-year degrees, according to the bill...

Senate Bill 850 was introduced in January by Sen. Marty Block (D–San Diego) and would authorize the California Community Colleges Board of Governors to create a bachelor’s degree program in up to 15 community college districts... 

The University of California has yet to take an official stance on the bill.  “Exactly how this would impact us isn’t very clear,” said Brooke Converse, UC spokeswoman. “It isn’t written in a way that it would impact UC students.”  Converse said she wants the bill to make sure that it respects the boundaries between the UC, the California State University and the state’s community colleges. “(We hope) it won’t replicate any existing programs,” she said.

Full story at

Clearly, there is something to converse about here from the UC perspective?  Four-year degrees from community colleges is a major change in the Master Plan.  No?  So let's start with some obvious effects.  Transfer students to UC?  Possibly fewer of them?  State budget?  More for X means less for Y, if not now, then in future Hard Times.  So how can UC have no position?  Maybe - all things considered - this is the way to go in California public policy on higher ed?  But the idea that the bill has no "impact on UC students" is positively dangerous.  No matter how constrained and limited the bill may be, it is a Big Deal.

If the bill was introduced in January, UC has had plenty of time to determine possible impacts and take a position.

A unanimous vote in the state senate?  Has the train left the station while UC dawdled on the platform?

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