For Some Community College Classes, You Get Only One Shot

In an ongoing effort to tighten their financial belts, California Community College officials continue to limit the number of times students can take courses.

On Monday, the Board of Governors voted to approve a new set of rules that will prevent students from repeating “activity” courses, such as dance, art or music. The rule will go into effect in fall 2013.

Already, students will no longer be able to repeat academic classes indefinitely, like they used to. They will only be able to take required courses, such as English 1A, three times. Most importantly, dropping the course midway to receive a “W” rather than a bad grade — something students do to prevent their grade point average from dropping — will now be counted as a “repeat.”

“If we had to enforce it in the current list, I’d say a good 15 percent of our students would be affected,” said Mary Dominguez, vice president of student services at Hartnell College in Salinas. “This is a new ball game for everybody. It’s a huge regulation.”

Currently, students are allowed to take activity courses up to four times. The new rules will allow no repeats, unless classes are needed for a certificate, a degree or to transfer to a four-year university.

Community colleges will have the option to create a “community service class” that would be supported by fees.

Carsbia Anderson, vice president of student services at Monterey Peninsula College, said officials are not contemplating starting fee-based courses, but are thinking about developing curriculum that would address different levels of achievement in activity classes. (Read more.)

Via Claudia Melendez Salinas, Monterey County Herald.

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Report: California Schools Serving Socially Disadvantaged Students Send Too Few to College

The vast majority of California high schools that serve high numbers of low-income students and students of color do a poor job of sending their students on to college, a new report has found.

“The implications are pretty bad,” said Orville Jackson, senior research analyst at The Education Trust – West and lead author of the report, titled “Repairing the Pipeline: A Look at Gaps in California’s High School to College Transition.”

A major finding of the report is that college-going rates for African-American and Latino ninth-grade students lag behind the rates of White and Asian students by 20 to more than 30 percentage points. Fewer than half of such ninth-graders go to college upon graduation from high school or shortly thereafter, and the college-going rates for low-income students were just as low, the report found

“This is our population. It’s a growing population,” Jackson said of students of color in California. “We’re actually underserving the majority of our population in this state.”

Jackson said the situation portends trouble for the Golden State being able to meet its future workforce demands.

“We’re not preparing our students to meet our employment needs,” Jackson said. “So we’re going to have a workforce shortage.”

Jackson’s report compiled statistics that reveal what the report describes as a series of “breaks in the pipes.”

Those statistics include: … (Read more.)

Via Jamaal Abdul-Alim, Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

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