California has had anything but a proud history when it comes to monitoring its for-profit institutions. After all, this is a state that in the 1980s gained a suspect reputation as the “diploma mill capital of the world,” as a 2005 independent monitoring report points out.
As most of American higher education has over time abandoned the idea that the best way to ensure access to college is by keeping tuitions low, California has clung to the principle as it was laid out in the state's 1960 master plan for higher education. To this day, students at its community colleges pay by far the country's lowest "fees" (a phrase the state uses in lieu of tuition).
Latino students are more likely than others to start their college educations at community colleges. A new report from California documents the difficulties many of those students have moving on to four-year institutions and draws attention to the long-term impact low transfer rates could have on Latino degree achievement.