Also: Touro University hopes to start business program this JanuaryA new report from the California Postsecondary Education Commission – which advises Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on issues related to higher education – finds that California’s community colleges will soon be unable to accommodate all the students who wish to enroll.
The report, entitled “Ready or Not, Here They Come,” will be presented at the commission’s quarterly meeting to be held later this month in Sacramento.
According to the report, the state’s 110 community colleges will need to increase their capacity over the next decade in order not to turn away the 222,000 additional students who will seek to enroll. It estimates that the number of students during the next decade will increase by 12.3 percent.
The report follows a recent announcement that community college enrollment had surged 4.9 percent – representing 135,000 students – during academic year 2008-2009. Fueling the increase is the current recession, which is sending many unemployed and underemployed workers to community colleges to train for new skills and careers.
“California’s Master Plan for Higher Education makes a promise to each and every student – that if you want to go to college, we’ll save a spot for you,” said Michele Siqueiros, executive director of The Campaign for College Opportunity, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that advocates for higher education in California. “Unless we address these capacity issues in our community colleges, that promise will be broken.”
* * *
Touro University on Mare Island in Vallejo is set to open a business school in January, according to Jesus Mena, the university’s director of external relations.
The school has been accredited and was supposed to open this semester but didn’t due to a lack of enrollment.
But, said Mr. Mena, “We are hopeful and optimistic. We have started an aggressive marketing plan.”
Dr. Krishan Rana, the chairperson and professor in the business and management department, said the school will have all upper division classes so as not to compete with the community colleges.
“We are trying to get the community college graduates and give them the professional training they will need.”
There will be three areas of study. These areas were chosen when Touro officials put together questionnaires and took them to the community colleges. It was determined that there is a high demand for the concentrations.
The degrees are in health care management, global business and strategy management and security and risk management.
Dr. Rana came to Touro a year ago from the California Maritime Academy. He initiated this program.
“It is my baby,” he said. It took a full year to get accreditation and he is excited for the first cohort, which will have a minimum of 20 students.
* * *
The professional and continuing education program at Dominican University of California in San Rafael received a $75,000 grant for further development of the sustainable practices certificate.
The grant awarded by the California Campus Compact and the Corporation for National and Community Service, Learn and Serve America will be distributed in sums of $25,000 over the next three years.