COLLEGE STUDENTS NEED INCENTIVE.
Byline: GARY JASON Jason, in Greek mythology
Jason, in Greek mythology, son of Aeson. When Pelias usurped the throne of Iolcus and killed (or imprisoned) Aeson and most of his descendants, Jason was smuggled off to the centaur Chiron, who reared him secretly on Mt. Pelion. Local View
THE California community-college system has a vital role to play in California's enviable en·vi·a·ble
So desirable as to arouse envy: "the enviable English quality of being able to be mute without unrest" Henry James. state higher educational system. But it does so at great expense to the taxpayer -- some $8.6 billion a year -- at virtually no cost to the student.
Therein is the rub.
In view of the system's size and expense, it's no surprise that the Public Policy Institute of California's recent report on graduation and transfer rates made headlines. The report showed that less than 10 percent of California community-college students ever earn an A.A. degree. Among those students intending to transfer to four-year schools, only about a fourth succeed in doing so.
The report certainly accords with my experience in 20 years of teaching philosophy at various community-college campuses across Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, : Attrition rates Noun 1. attrition rate - the rate of shrinkage in size or number
rate of attrition
rate - a magnitude or frequency relative to a time unit; "they traveled at a rate of 55 miles per hour"; "the rate of change was faster than expected"
in CCC CCC
A very speculative grade assigned to a debt obligation by a rating agency. Such a rating indicates default or considerable doubt that interest will be paid or principal repaid. Also called Caa. classes are unacceptably large.
Now, even those -- such as I -- who are big advocates of the community-college system must admit that there is a problem here that urgently needs to be addressed, given the parlous state of California's budget. The problem -- like the solution -- is one of pricing.
Look at it this way: If water were free, would people be as careful with its use as they are now? No, they would waste it freely.
I think that is the core of the problem with the community colleges. Since the students pay virtually nothing for the classes they take, they have no incentive to conserve scarce educational resources.
My proposal is to change the pricing structure so that students are less wasteful of CCC resources, but not in such a way as to hinder hin·der 1
v. hin·dered, hin·der·ing, hin·ders
1. To be or get in the way of.
2. To obstruct or delay the progress of.
v.intr. financially hard-pressed students from getting the education they need.
Currently all students -- no matter how many courses they have already taken or for how many years they have attended -- pay about $20 per unit (or will in January). A full-time student Full-Time Student
A status that is important for determining dependency exemptions. An individual enrolled in a post-secondary institution may be eligible for certain tax breaks.
The full-time status is based on what the individual's school considers full time. can normally complete about 30 units per year (allowing getting a standard A.A. degree in two years), so the yearly full-time tuition is a mere $600, versus $3,000 for CSU See DSU/CSU.
1. CSU - California State University.
2. CSU - Cleveland State University.
3. CSU - Channel Service Unit. students and $7,000 for UC students.
I would replace that flat-rate low pricing with a laddered approach, tied to the total units attempted (not just completed) over a student's entire life.
For the first 60 units, charge the low current rate. Serious students can finish the job of getting an A.A., credential credential verb To determine or verify titles, qualifications, documents, completion of required training, and continuing education, in those persons who function in a professional or official capacity–eg, ER physician, neurosurgeon, etc. Cf Credentials. , or transfer to a four-year school for the bargain price of $1,200 total.
For the next 30 units, increase the fee to, say, $50 per unit -- a full-time rate of $1,500 per year. That's still a bargain, but enough of a penalty to start making students complete courses they might otherwise blow off.
For 91 to 120 units attempted (roughly three to four years of full-time college), jump the fee to $100 per unit -- which is roughly the in-state, full-time tuition rate for the CSU campuses. Upon hitting 121 and up, raise the charge to $200 per unit, or about $6,000 per year full-time -- which is still less than what the UC student pays.
By this pricing, students would be encouraged to only enroll in classes they intend to complete, and the system would save money and preserve resources for those who really need them.