By Doug Ford
At last someone in Californian education is approaching long-needed reforms in the way I have long been advocating. Eloy Ortiz Oakley is the first Latino educator to lead the California Community College (CCC) system, selected in July 2016 and installed as chancellor on Dec. 10, 2016. He was with the Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) from 2002 to 2016, serving as Superintendent-President from 2007 to 2016. Under his leadership the LBCCD “received numerous awards and recognitions for its efforts to improve student completion rates and for directly supporting a strong business and entrepreneurship eco-system throughout the greater Southern California region” (California Community Colleges, Chancellor’s Office biography).
The best-known initiative he is recognized for is the Long Beach College Promise, worked out by partnering with the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), and California State University at Long Beach (CSULB). Through the College Promise, “LBUSD administrators and high school teachers work with college faculty and staff to create clear structured pathways for students to follow as they move from one education institution to another.
Source: Doug Ford: Educators can learn from California Community College system leader – The Reporter
By Marisol Cuellar Mejia
With the passage of AB 705 in October 2017, California community colleges are in the midst of a major transformation of developmental education. The new law requires that community colleges restructure developmental education to maximize the likelihood that students will enter and complete transfer-level coursework in English and mathematics/quantitative reasoning in a one-year time frame.
Full implementation of AB 705 is expected no later than fall 2019. As colleges replace standardized test scores with high school records as their primary placement criteria, it is likely that the majority of entering students will enroll in transfer-level courses. To improve the likelihood of success, especially among students with the lowest high school performance levels, colleges are being encouraged to implement curricular reforms as well. Co-requisite remediation is an essential component of these reforms: it allows students who would otherwise be deemed underprepared to enroll directly in transfer-level math or English courses with concurrent remedial support.
While the vast majority of the state’s 114 community colleges have not yet implemented co-requisite models, a few colleges began experimenting with co-requisites and other reforms before the passage of AB 705. According to a recent PPIC report that looks at the efforts of these “early implementers,” co-requisites in English are more common than those in math. Nine California community colleges provided co-requisite courses in English to about 3,000 students in 2016–17 (the latest year of available data), and at least seven additional colleges began offering English co-requisite models in 2017–18.
Source: California Community Colleges Are Transforming Developmental Education – Public Policy Institute of California
By John Fensterwald
Uncertainty over the impact of a proposed Republican tax cut on the state’s economy and budget is hanging like a cloud over California, but at this point, the Legislative Analyst’s Office is projecting robust growth in state revenue for K-12 schools and community colleges in the coming year.
The LAO is predicting that the schools and community colleges will get $3.2 billion more in 2018-19 under Proposition 98, the constitutional formula that determines minimum school funding. That would be an increase of 4.3 percent, bringing the Prop. 98 total to $77.7 billion, according to the LAO report released Wednesday.
K-12 schools get about 89 percent of Prop. 98 funding, with community colleges getting most of the remainder.
Source: Legislative Analyst predicts healthy state revenues next year for schools, community colleges | EdSource
By Larry Gordon
While California continues to have the lowest community college tuition in the county, the costs for UC rank above the average of other research universities, a new report shows.
Listed at $1,430 for a full-time student, the tuition and fees for California’s community colleges are the lowest nationwide in 2017-18, as they have been for years, according to the study by the College Board. That annual price, before being adjusted for financial aid, is less than half the $3,570 national average, the survey found.
California’s ranking as having the least expensive community colleges was not affected by plans in other states like Tennessee and New York that offer free college tuition in various forms and durations. The College Board noted that those states still establish a tuition level and that their programs are partly dependent on federal aid or cut off the grants for higher income students. California Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed a law that could make the first year of community college free to all if funding is allocated and the schools adopts key reforms.
Source: California community college tuition still the lowest nationally; UC above average, study finds. | EdSource
By Daily Republic Staff
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Thursday that allows more community college students to bypass remedial English and math courses and begin directly in college-level math and English, according to a press release.
Nearly 170,000 California community college students enter remedial math, for example, with as many as 110,000 failing to complete the math requirements required for a degree, according to the release.
Assembly Bill 705 will require colleges to use the high school grades or students rather than standardized tests to make accurate and equitable placement decisions, and ensure students are placed into courses that give them the best chances of completing college-level courses within a year.
Source: Brown signs bill to help boost community college student achievement
By Mikhail Zinshteyn
A bill to waive first-year tuition at community college for all California residents attending full-time is awaiting the governor’s signature after winning support from a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the state Legislature Wednesday.
If signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, Assembly Bill 19 would allow for an estimated 19,000 additional students to take advantage of the state’s generous subsidies for community college students — irrespective of their financial need — under a new program called California College Promise.
For the bill to have teeth, it needs money appropriated from the state, and currently AB 19 has no funding mechanism. The Department of Finance, which advises Gov. Jerry Brown on fiscal issues, opposed the passage of the bill in August because of the estimated $30 million to $50 million price tag to enroll the additional students. The department also dinged the bill for expanding financial aid to students who don’t need it, “which is inconsistent with the Administration’s effort to target financial aid to the state’s neediest students.”
Source: Gov. Brown weighing support for free first year of community college | EdSource
By Theresa Harrington
Gov. Jerry Brown signed the $183 billion state budget on Tuesday, after announcing he had reached an agreement on the details with legislative leaders earlier this month.
“California is taking decisive action by enacting a balanced state budget,” Brown said. “This budget provides money to repair our roads and bridges, pay down debt, invest in schools, fund the earned income tax credit and provide Medi-Cal health care for millions of Californians.”
The 2017-18 budget allocates more money to K-12 schools and community colleges, expected to increase by $3.1 billion over the 2016-17 level to $74.5 billion. School districts’ share of the increase will include $1.4 million more for the Local Control Funding Formula, bringing its full implementation to 97 percent complete.
Source: Governor signs 2017-18 budget allocating more money to schools | EdSource
By Daily Republic Staff
The wave of the future is upon us and it is happening at a unique intersection that has Solano County on the cutting edge of technological and academic development.
Existing manufacturing companies in a range of fields are finding a lack of qualified workers to fill numerous positions across the country. As a result, government, industry and academia have collaborated to help fill that employment void.
That’s where a newly developed biomanufacturing degree program offered through Solano Community College comes in. The degree program is a new frontier – a four-year degree option at a traditionally two-year setting. Students graduating from the program will learn how to grow living cells that can then be applied to a range of purposes, from health care to beer making.
Source: Solano College 4-year degree program represents wave of the future
By Richard Bammer
State community college leaders are concerned about a dramatic drop in financial aid applications among undocumented students, due, in part perhaps, to the political climate in Washington, D.C., and the Trump White House.
But Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of California’s 113 community colleges, reminded that assistance is still available through the California Dream Act and urged eligible students to apply.
His announcement, in a press release issued in February, came several days after President Donald Trump broadened immigration enforcement policies, directing federal officials to find, arrest and deport those in the country illegally, regardless of whether they have committed serious crimes.
Source: “Dreamers” at community colleges urged to apply for financial aid
By Richard Bammer
Prominent educators and equally prominent members of business communities, it seems, are finally beginning to talk about preparing students for the 21st-century workplace, as local school district trustee have for many years.
On Wednesday, a Jelly Belly vice president spoke to some 40 AVID students at Armijo High in Fairfield, telling them what employers are looking for in a prospective employee.
On Friday, a revived K-12-community college committee met for the first time in Sacramento about how the two educational sectors can work together to help more Californians find success in the job market and strengthen the state’s workforce.
John Jamison, vice president of retail operations at Jelly Belly, the giant candymaker in Fairfield, generally spoke in broad terms about what employers seek in young people entering the labor force.
By Todd R. Hansen
Community colleges have long been a pathway to vocational goals – often the course chosen by those students who see no value in a four-year degree that has no useful purpose for their careers.
And while students who want to be teachers may attend a community college to kick off their academic lives, eventually tradition required they go to a university to get at least a bachelor’s degree and earn a credential.
A bill recently introduced by state Sen. Bill Dodd would allow community colleges, like Solano College, to develop their own teacher credentialing program.
Source: Bill would allow JCs – including SCC – to issue teaching credentials
By Ryan McCarthy
Students at Solano Community College can get a four-year degree for about $10,000 in biomanufacturing and finish college without debt, professor Jim DeKloe said Thursday at a meeting of three local chambers of commerce.
Industrial biotechnology professor DeKloe recounted how Genentech said in 1994 it would open a Vacaville site and how the corporation has assisted Solano College.
“They have been a wonderful partner,” DeKloe said.
Source: 4-year degree for about $10,000, Solano College professor tells business groups
By Richard Bammer
For many California’s high school students, dreams of attending college are being nurtured by a state grant.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on Wednesday announced that nearly 1,000 school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools, will receive about $100 million in grants to help students prepare to attend college.
The grants, which are available through the 2018–19 fiscal year, come from a $200 million College Readiness Block Grant program administered by the California Department of Education. The expenditure also was approved by Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Legislature.
The goal is to increase the number of students who enroll in college and complete a degree program in four years, with a special emphasis on helping English learners, low-income students, and foster youth.
Source: State department of education releases $100M in college-readiness grants
By Richard Bammer
Educators want it; local taxpayer groups don’t: Proposition 55, the Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare initiative.
One 17 state initiatives on the crowded Nov. 8 ballot, it extends by 12 years the temporary personal income tax increases enacted in 2012 on earnings of more than $250,000. The money would be disbursed to K-12 schools, California community colleges, and, in certain years, to health-care programs.
The measure would essentially extend 2012’s Proposition 30, which sent billions of dollars to the state’s 1,000 school districts, among other funding recipients, including public safety.
Source: Educators, most voters support Proposition 55; taxpayer groups don’t – The Reporter
By Richard Bammer
Many parents, including Vacaville Unified trustees, California educators, and state and federal legislators from both sides of the political aisle support Proposition 51, but, as expected, major statewide anti-tax groups do not.
If approved by voters Nov. 8, the K-12 School and Community College Facilities initiative, the first of its kind on a California ballot, authorizes $9 billion in general obligation bonds for new buildings and upgrades to the state’s 10,000 K-12 schools, including 1,100 charter schools, vocational education facilities, and the state’s 113 community colleges. California has some 6.2 million students in K-12 schools and some 2.1 million enrolled in community colleges, the largest such systems of their kind in the nation.
The initiative’s fiscal impact, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, would be about $17.6 billion to pay off the principal ($9 billion) and interest ($8.6 billion) on the bonds. It would generate payments of $500 million annually for 35 years.
Source: Wide swatch of voters support Proposition 51; anti-tax groups do not
By Kristin DeCarr
A recently released report from the Community College Research Center examines the effectiveness of “transition courses” in use across the country to prepare students for college-level math and English coursework.
The report, “Improving the Transition to College: Estimating the Impact of High School Transition Courses on Short-Term College Outcomes,” discusses the recent use of “transition courses” by many states, districts, and individual high schools, which are implemented as a result of the increasing number of students who graduate high school unprepared for college coursework. These students typically enroll in remedial courses upon entering college, which are associated with lower progression and college completion rates.
Outcomes for the study were measured by observing which students did not have to enroll in remedial courses once they entered college as a result of receiving a passing score on a placement exam.
Source: Transition to College Marred by Remedial Need, Report Says
The Friends of the Dixon May Fair will award a total of $12,500 in college scholarships to Solano County students enrolled in a California university or community college and who are majoring in agriculture or an agricultural-related field. The deadline to apply for the scholarships is 5 p.m., March 1. The Friends will award four scholarships for those enrolled in a four-year college, and three scholarships for those enrolled in a two-year college. Over the last 14 years, they’ve awarded $142,000 in college scholarships to Solano County students pursuing an agricultural-related career.
The top student in the four-year college category will receive the $3000 Ester Armstrong Memorial Scholarship, memorializing the former Dixon May Fair chief executive officer. Three other scholarships, at $2000 each, will be given in the four-year college category. For two-year college students, the awards are: the Jack Hopkins Memorial Scholarship of $1500; and two scholarships at $1,000 each.
via Friends of the Dixon May Fair offer college scholarships.
By Katy Murphy
Fifteen California community colleges, including two in the Bay Area, are poised to be the first in the state to offer low-cost bachelor’s degrees after a historic shift in California law.
On Tuesday, Foothill College in Los Altos Hills and Skyline College in San Bruno received initial approval from the college system’s board of governors, along with 13 others recommended by the state chancellor’s office.
“This is clearly about people having access to an education that will lead to jobs,” said Regina Stanback Stroud, president of Skyline College.
via Two Bay Area community colleges to launch four-year degree programs.
By Michelle Maitre
President Barack Obama has unveiled a proposal to make the first two years of community college free for students who are diligent about working toward a degree.
“What I’d like to do is see the first two years of community college free for everybody who is willing to work for it,” Obama said Thursday in a Facebook video announcing the plan. “It’s something that we can accomplish and something that’ll train our workforce so that we can compete with anybody in the world.”
Under the plan, the federal government would contribute three-quarters of the average cost of community college, while participating states would contribute the rest, according to information on a White House blog. To qualify, students must maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average, attend college at least half-time and “make steady progress toward completing their degree.” States would have to opt-in to participate in the program.
via Obama proposes free community college | EdSource#.VLAL6WctHGg#.VLAL6WctHGg.
By Susan Winlow
Trustees at Solano Community College on Wednesday will discuss passage of a new law that will allow California community colleges to offer four-year degrees.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 850, authored by Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, over the weekend as an answer to an estimated demand of more than 1 million four-year degrees by the year 2025. Currently only the University of California and California State University systems offer public four-year degrees. More than 20 states nationwide currently allow community colleges to offer four-year degrees.
via Solano College trustees to discuss new 4-year-degree law Daily Republic.