California is moving ahead with plans to force University of California and California State University campuses to give credit for online classes taken elsewhere if students are wait-listed for those classes at the state schools.
Nearly half a million students are on waiting lists for basic courses in California’s public colleges, increasing the cost and duration of college and reducing the number of students who go on to earn degrees. This is a human tragedy and a policy failure on an enormous scale.
Under the proposed plan, wait-listed students would be able to take online classes that have been approved by California’s Open Education Resources Council, a faculty-led body that was created by recent Steinberg-sponsored legislation (which also authorized free, open textbooks). Students would have to take proctored, in-person exams to pass the courses. Public colleges and universities in California would be required to accept those courses for credit.
… In the long run, however, this kind of plan represents an undeniable reordering of long-established regulatory, financial, and institutional arrangements. It’s a move closer to a time when traditional colleges are only a subset of the larger world of higher education
While some applaud this move, the University of California faculty have expressed “grave concerns”. In addition to criticizing the state’s failure to adequately fund higher education and the profit motives of alternative providers, professors are unhappy about losing their primary role in approving course credits for outside classes.
As goes California, so goes the nation?