State Oversight Agency Urges New Higher Education Agenda

Career College Central summary:

  • On Monday, a state oversight agency sent an urgent message to California’s higher education leaders and public officials: out with the old, in with the new.
  • In a report on the future of higher education, the Little Hoover Commission said that it’s time to scuttle the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education and draw up a new agenda that creates more college graduates to meet workforce demands.
  • The current three-tier system, developed originally to expand enrollment for an influx of baby boomers, is failing to produce sufficient degree holders in a new era of finite resources, the commission found.
  • “California is projected to face a shortfall by 2025 of 1 million students with four-year degrees and more than 2.3 million with degrees, certificates and diplomas needed to meet the state’s workforce requirements,” the report said.  “Enrollments at California’s higher education institutions have not kept pace with population growth, and tens of thousands of qualified California students are unable to attend public colleges every year.”
  • Key stumbling blocks are insufficient course offerings and so-called bottleneck courses such as English, algebra, history and others that students need to graduate but are in high demand and often over-subscribed.
  • California community colleges, for example, had to cut classes and turn away more than 600,000 students in recent years because of budget reductions.

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