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.”

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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.

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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.

The sustainable certificate is part of a way for the school to best prepare students for green collar jobs.

“We are going to train these men and women so that they are poised and ready so when all these jobs come down – boom – we’ve got the program all planned out ready to go,” said Sandy Baker, director of the PACE program. “The unique structure of our program connects a wide array of community and educational organizations dedicated to sustainability, forging an important network and paving the way for equitable employment in the green industry.”

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Redwood Credit Union has partnered with the California and Nevada Youth Involvement Network to host a training for North Bay teachers and credit union professionals on how to teach financial literacy to students.

The training will take place on Tuesday Sept. 29 at 9:30 a.m. at the administrative offices of the credit union.

RCU recently partnered with Santa Rosa City Schools and the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce and held a training for high school students on financial literacy.

“Offering this training workshop is one of the many steps Redwood Credit Union and our partners are taking towards providing financial education and literacy programs to youths and young adults, and to our broader commitment of financial literacy in our communities,” said Brett Martinez, the president and chief executive officer of RCU.

For more information, visit redwoodcu.org.

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University of San Francisco announced the merger of its business, management and professional studies into one school, the School of Business and Professional Studies.


Submit items for this column to Jenna V. Loceff at jloceff@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4259 or fax 707-521-5292.