At Colleges, Demographic Changes Everywhere but the Top

Although diversifying the makeup of student bodies has been a major effort on college campuses in recent years, when it comes to the president’s office, there has been little change: The typical college president continues to be a white man in his early 60s, a new national survey has found. College presidents are also increasingly preoccupied by (and worried about) budgeting and fund-raising. At public institutions, well over half of those surveyed predicted that state government funding would decrease in the next five years, and more than three-quarters believe that tuition and fees will go up. As colleges grapple with these challenges, the survey offers a snapshot of the leaders in higher education: who the current presidents are, how they got there, how they spend their time and what they think the future holds.

Read full article [here].
by David W. Chen, The New York Times.

California colleges transform remedial courses to raise graduation rates

Such combination classes – known as co-requisites, bridges or hybrids – are seen as a crucial tool to help hundreds of thousands of CSU students climb out of the remedial education hole in which some feel trapped. Part of a national reform movement, such courses also are aimed at helping students graduate faster. CSU system administrators earlier this year said they want to turn all non-credit remedial classes into college-level credit bearing ones by 2018, with the co-requisite classes as the likely model. That move is an important part of the CSU campaign to bolster the system wide four-year completion rate for first-time freshmen to 40 percent from the current 19 percent by 2025. More than a third of entering CSU freshmen are found to need some remedial work.

Read full article [here].
by Larry Gordon, EdSource.

Coastline Community College offers to cover tuition, books, fees for first year

The offer is limited to high school graduates from the Newport-Mesa, Huntington Beach and Garden Grove districts on a first-come basis, with a $300,000 commitment for each of the next three years by the Coastline Community College Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the college. For the average student, the offer translates to $1,500 in tuition and fees, and up to $1,000 more to cover textbooks during the first year, Coastline officials said., along with additional counseling and support. The aid, under the Coastline College Promise, is available to those from all economic backgrounds… in return for the financial help, students must perform a minimum of 20 hours of community service.

Read full article [here].
by Roxana Kopetman, The Press-Enterprise.

New California budget would stop short of ‘debt-free’ college but takes smaller steps on costs

Assembly Democrats had proposed new scholarships—which would supplement existing aid programs—that would offset the cost of room and board, textbooks and other living expenses that tend to be bigger drivers of college costs than tuition. The fully implemented plan would cost $1.6 billion per year; legislators had suggested phasing in the program over five years, with an initial cost of $320 million. The budget doesn’t put any money toward such grants. Instead, it directs the California Student Aid Commission to consider how to consolidate existing scholarships in ways that would lower students’ overall college costs, including non-tuition expenses such as housing and transportation.

Read full article [here].
by Tribune News Service, The San Francisco Examiner.

California’s defrauded Corinthian Colleges students left in limbo

There is no end in sight to the bureaucratic mess in which California students who attended predatory for-profit colleges find themselves entangled. This week, the U.S. Education Department will announce it plans to halt and rewrite rules the Obama administration had created to hold the colleges accountable and help students who were defrauded by schools like Corinthian Colleges get rid of the student loans they took out to pay for what turned out, in many cases, to be a dismal education. The announcement is the latest blow for students across the country who were reeled in by fraudulent for-profit schools promising opportunities and good jobs but rarely delivering.

Read full article [here].
by Emily DeRuy, The East Bay Times.

College of the Sequoias saves taxpayers more than $12 million

Taxpayers in Visalia, Farmersville, Exeter, Woodlake and surrounding communities will save $5,445,412 from refinancing $18,271,140 from portions of the Measure I general obligation bond, approved by voters in 2008. The interest rates on the refinanced bonds, Series A and Series C, were reduced from 5.39 percent to 2.84 percent and 5.84 percent to 3.42 percent, respectively. Taxpayers in Tulare, Lindsay, Corcoran and surrounding communities will save $3,334,246 from refinancing $14,205,000 of Measure J general obligation bonds, approved by voters in 2008. The interest rate on the new bonds was reduced from 5.40 percent to 2.86 percent. Hanford taxpayers will save $3,491,207 from refinancing $13,540,000 of Measure C general obligation bonds, approved by voters in 2006. The interest rate on the new bonds was reduced from 5 percent to 2.78 percent.

Read full article [here].
by Calley Cederlof, The Visalia Times-Delta.

New state budget deal punishes UC President’s Office

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders announced a budget deal Tuesday that strips University of California President Janet Napolitano’s office of some of its financial autonomy, limits the authority of the embattled Board of Equalization, increases tax credits for the poor and saves the Middle Class Scholarship program at public universities. The budget deal includes a plan for spending money from new tobacco taxes approved under Proposition 56 in November. That revenue would go toward increasing payments by up to $325 million for doctors and up to $140 million for dentists who see Medi-Cal patients. “This budget keeps California on a sound fiscal path and continues to support struggling families and make investments in our schools,” Brown said in a statement.

Read full article [here].
by Melody Gutierrez, SFGate.

Critics say UC board is latest proof that Gov. Brown ignores the Valley

For the first time in decades, no one from the San Joaquin Valley is serving on the University of California’s 26-seat governing board – perpetuating local concerns that some of the state’s neediest areas are not well-represented. None of the 18 governor-appointed members on the UC Board of Regents are Valley residents, with most based in the greater Los Angeles area. The other regents are ex officio members, which include the governor himself and the state superintendent of schools, plus a student representative. Assemblyman Dr. Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, said the problem extends beyond the UC board. “I continue to be disappointed by the lack of Central Valley representation on state boards and commissions, including the UC Regents,” Arambula said in an email.

Read full article [here].
by Mackenzie Mays, Modesto Bee.

If you’re eligible for CSU, you’ll be guaranteed a slot under California budget deal

Under a state budget deal unveiled Tuesday, CSU will soon have to offer those applicants a slot somewhere at one of its 23 campuses statewide. The policy, which CSU must develop and approve by next May, is based on a guarantee at the University of California: All California high schoolers who rank in the top 9 percent of graduates statewide, or finish among the top 9 percent of the graduating class at certain high schools, are eligible to attend UC; if they are not admitted to the campus of their choice, UC offers those students a spot at another campus where there is space, which in recent years has been only Merced.

Read full article [here].
by Alexei Koseff, Modesto Bee.

Follow the law, Gov. Brown

The regents board for the University of California has “full powers of organization and governance” over California’s most prized public university system. Yet the board, which consists of 26 members, has recently been in the spotlight for its lack of transparency and a string of controversial decisions. Now it turns out that even the process by which the regents themselves are chosen has a tremendous transparency problem. According to California’s Constitution, Gov. Jerry Brown “shall consult an advisory committee” of 12 people in “the selection of the regents.” That advisory committee consists of six members of the public, two elected officials from the Legislature, a UC student, a faculty member, an alumnus and the regents chair. But it seems the governor isn’t following this provision of the state Constitution.

Read full article [here].
by Staff, San Francisco Chronicle.