California public colleges and universities will be mandated to give college credit for online classes taken elsewhere

by Grace

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.

Kevin Carey notes that this “change is consistent with the policy ideas put forth by President Obama in his State of the Union address” and represents a “reordering” in higher education.

… 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?


3 Comments to “California public colleges and universities will be mandated to give college credit for online classes taken elsewhere”

  1. Reblogged this on the everyday academic and commented:
    This could have huge implications for online education. Will other state universities follow California’s example?


  2. This intrusion of legislative privatization into University autonomy is far from being a done deal. There is substantial faculty opposition, based mainly on the problem of quality control—any student can already request that an external on-line course be counted, so all the legislation does is remove any faculty oversight of what courses get counted. The goal is clearly to transfer money to private for-profit online providers by removing all quality controls.


  3. Sounds problematic all around.


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