Easing their way into awarding four-year degrees, some community colleges around the country have begun offering applied baccalaureate degrees with a technical, workforce-ready focus. Two-year colleges in Wisconsin, however, are lobbying the state system to let them offer a different kind of applied baccalaureate – one with a liberal arts focus and aimed at rural, place-bound adults.
Scholars of collective bargaining in higher ed say wage gains from unions are minimal at four-year institutions, but significant at community colleges -- and that in both sectors, impact goes beyond pay.
For much of 2011, Wisconsin has been a leading actor in politically tinged dramas about higher education. In February, the battle over collective bargaining rights of public employees erupted (it remains unresolved), with those who work in higher education among the affected.