Private universities branch into associate degrees

Two private four-year universities are starting associate degree programs.

Fighting to Make City College of San Francisco Free

San Francisco officials are engaged in a major political battle over whether the city can end tuition charges at City College of San Francisco, The San Francisco Examiner reported. City voters approved a measure in November that would create the funds that city officials said prior to the election would be used to make CCSF free. But voters rejected other tax proposals, and now the city is scrambling to make up for revenue it had been planning on but will not receive because those taxes were voted down. Some have suggested that the city can't afford to make tuition free for CCSF, but others say the pledge should be kept.

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Dual enrollment on the rise for Texas community colleges

Community colleges across Texas are finding tens of thousands of high school students who are eager to take free dual-credit courses, an approach favored by the state's mostly Republican lawmakers.

U St. Thomas Will Start Associate Degree Program

The University of St. Thomas, in Minnesota, is starting an associate degree program to reach students who might benefit from the university's offerings but need extra support. Students will be prepared for transfer to St. Thomas or other public and private colleges in the state. The program is designed only for those who are low income. With federal and other aid, students will typically be charged tuition of about $1,000 a year.

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Calif. Community College Faculty Picket for Contract

Faculty at California's West Valley-Mission Community College District picketed outside the college Tuesday demanding more equitable contract conditions for professors and improved access for students, according to the California Federation of Teachers, which represents the faculty.

Contract negotiations with the district, which is based in the San Jose area, have been at an impasse since May. The college district is demanding faculty concede on health care benefits and give up their decision-making structure.

The district argues that those health care benefits are costly, while the faculty members say the administration is sitting on $55 million in reserves and they have already agreed to more work with less pay.

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Alamo Colleges hope free summer courses will encourage momentum to graduation

A Texas community college system is hoping the appeal of free summer courses will drive students to move from part-time to full-time status, giving completion rates a boost.

Letter on Dangers for Illinois Community Colleges

In a letter to Illinois' Legislature and Governor Bruce Rauner, the state's Council of Community College Presidents warns that the continued budget impasse is threatening to close down their institutions.

"We are at a tipping point. If this impasse continues, the consequence will be profound and lasting. Payrolls will not be met, programs will be closed, staff and faculty will be reduced to mere shells. To be clear, we are far beyond the point of reducing administrative costs and suspending travel. Without a reliable and consistent budgeting process, colleges will close and students will be turned away. We can't use regulatory relief nor the repeal of unfunded mandates to pay our employees," the letter read.

The ongoing two-year state budget impasse had caused hundreds of layoffs within the state's community colleges and universities, and a number of programs have closed. Meanwhile, the University of Illinois System is backing a proposal by some legislators that could lead to appropriations for the system's three campuses on a regular basis.

Photo above is of Elgin Community College.

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New Report on Remediation in Community Colleges

A new report from the Public Policy Institute of California finds that the majority of students entering the state's community colleges are placed in remedial courses and most of them never move on to earn a degree, certificate or transfer.

The report found that 80 percent of the state's incoming community college students took at least one developmental course in math, English or both. Most of these students placed in developmental math -- 73 percent of them -- begin at least two levels below the college-ready course.

But just 16 percent of developmental education students earn a certificate or associate degree within six years, and 24 percent successfully transfer to a four-year institution.

"Developmental education that is not effective comes at a high cost to students -- not only in tuition and fees for courses that do not count toward a degree but also in time and lost income," said Marisol Cuellar Mejia, a PPIC research associate and co-author of the report, in a news release. "It is also costly to California, which needs more college-educated workers and relies on community colleges as an entry point to higher education."

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New Report Examines Election's Potential Effects on Ed Policy

A new report from the University of Alabama's Education Policy Center examines how state-level education leaders view the education policies of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

The report is based on the first 36 responses received from the 2016 National Survey of Access and Finance Issues conducted by the EPC. That survey found that most higher education leaders disagreed with the "skin in the game" idea that federal loans should be a partnership between students, local banks and colleges. The idea has been supported by Trump.

While about half of the survey respondents agreed with Clinton that maintenance of effort provisions to incentivize states to maintain their higher education budgets should be included in the next Higher Education Act reauthorization.

The report also detailed that 11 of 36 respondents indicated their institutions don't have the capacity to serve the number of students a tuition-free community college plan would bring.

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The Affordable College builds marketplace for transfer students

New company hopes to increase number of community college transfers by offering a marketplace for students and four-year institutions to better understand degree paths.


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