Posts tagged ‘California State University’

March 26, 2013

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.

Problem:

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.

Solution:

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?

Related:

November 15, 2012

Virginia offers guaranteed admissions to universities for certain community college graduates

by Grace

One commonly recommended option for cutting college costs is to attend two years of community college before finishing up at a four-year school.  This option is even more attractive in those cases where colleges and universities offer guaranteed admission to graduates of selected community colleges.  Virginia is one place where this occurs.

Virginia’s community colleges offer students more than the opportunity to earn a degree or certificate. They provide a gateway to the Commonwealth’s four-year colleges and universities.

Through system-wide agreements, students who graduate from one of Virginias 23 community colleges with an associate’s degree and a minimum grade point average may obtain GUARANTEED admission to more than 20 of the commonwealth’s colleges and universities.

A student wishing to attend the University of Virginia, a selective school with a 33% admission rate and ranked #24 among national universities by US News & World Report, could save thousands of dollars and secure guaranteed admission by completing his first two years at Northern Virginia Community College.  The agreement between the two schools stipulates the following:

At least 54.0 credits from Northern Virginia Community College
At least 45.0 credits must be completed at University of Virginia
A cumulative GPA at Northern Virginia Community College of at least 3.4
No grade below a C in any Northern Virginia Community College course

The estimated cost savings over four years would be about $40,000
, assuming the student lived at home for the first two years.  Guaranteed admission to a selective university along with the savings make this a very attractive option.

Other locations have similar programs.  The UMass Amherst Community College Connection offers guaranteed admission for community college graduates who meet certain criteria, including a  cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.  The  California State University system gives priority admissions to community college graduates, but waiting lists have recently made this option less secure.  The University of California Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) has also been affected by funding that has failed to keep up with enrollment, even leading to the termination of the program at UC San Diego.

Advice for students considering first enrolling at a community college as a way to save money on their bachelor’s degree?  Do your research, including this recommendation from CNNMoney:
Ask the community college if they have any guaranteed transfer programs to four-year universities and what course and grade requirements you must meet to qualify. If they don’t have guaranteed programs, ask which universities have “articulation agreements” that will at least give you some guaranteed credits.
August 14, 2012

How California does college admissions for state residents

by Grace

State residents must adhere to very specific requirements to gain admission into the University of California system.

First, they must complete a minimum of 15 specific college-preparatory courses, with at least 11 finished before senior year.  They must have a GPA of 3.0 or better in these courses with no grade below a C.  Additionally, they must take the ACT Plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test by December of senior year.

Top students are guaranteed admission to a UC school provided space is availabe.

If you’re a state resident who has met the minimum requirements and aren’t admitted to any UC campus to which you apply, you’ll be offered a spot at another campus if space is available, provided:

  • You rank in the top 9 percent of California high school students, according to our admissions index, or
  • You rank in the top 9 percent of your graduating class at a participating high school. We refer to this as “Eligible in the Local Context” (ELC).

If you click on the links in the two bullet point items above, you will see the details on calculating if a student qualifies under one of the two categories.  On first glance the process seems a bit complicated, but I’m sure most California high school students and their guidance counselors manage to figure it out.

Then there are two exceptions to minimum requirements allowing a student to be considered for admission, although it isn’t completely clear if these apply to state residents as well as out-of-state applicants.

Admission by exam:

If you don’t meet UC’s minimum requirements, you may be considered for admission to UC if you earn high scores on the ACT Plus Writing or SAT Reasoning Test and two SAT Subject Tests.

Admission by exception:

Sometimes even the most creative, focused and intellectually passionate students aren’t able to fulfill our admission requirements. Even these students have a chance to attend UC.

The three most selective UC schools are UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC Irvine, in that order.  The number of out-of-state students allowed in the UC system is capped at 10%, recently increased from 6%.

California State Colleges
Admission to California State College schools is presumably less selective, but similarly structured with well-defined guidelines that also appear a bit complicated.  Students and their families can use the CSUMentor , a website designed to help “in  planning for college, in selecting the appropriate CSU campus to attend, in planning how to finance their education, and in applying for admission”.  Students as young as sixth grade can begin using the CSU Mentor to plan for admission to a California state school.

The California process is a sharp contrast to the one in New York, where the applications to state schools are not governed by such well-defined rules.

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