In today’s CALmatters column, Dan Walters touches on one of his favorite topics: The need for expanded services at community colleges.

To introduce his point, Walters reminds us of his motivation in pushing for broader access. In particular, he highlights a recent PPIC study which showed California’s college-educated workers lagging significantly behind the state’s projected need in the future.

By widening the options offered at community colleges, specifically bachelor degrees, Walters says our system could do a better job of preparing our future workforce for the jobs our economy will need.

Walters notes that this likely-beneficial program expansion has faced roadblocks at the hands of other California school systems, particularly the CSUs.

According to Walters, “Community college-based four-year degrees are common in many other states, but in California, CSU has stoutly resisted efforts to expand the notion.”

Walters goes on to discuss the new pilot program in which some community colleges can offer four-year degrees, but points out that an analysis released this week did not have enough pertinent data to make an adequate assessment of the program’s successes.

What the study did find was that the new program did expand access to students that could not attend CSUs for financial or family reasons.

All in all, Walters finds this evidence, and the looming shortfall of properly-educated workers, as reason enough to expand the role of community colleges.

To read Walters’ full take, click here: Community colleges needed to close degree gap


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