California’s Community Colleges: Recently Proposed Bill Threatens to Create Sections for Wealthy Students

In an effort to continue being able to offer state-sponsored education in light of tremendous budget cuts to California’s higher education system, a proposed bill being negotiated creates “extension programs” for California community colleges that can be similar to existing programs, but with higher tuition. Jack Scott, California Community Colleges chancellor, reports that this proposal comes at a time when “approximately 140,000 students have effectively been denied access, over 95 percent of all classes are at capacity, and an estimated 10,000-15,000 students are on wait lists for courses.” In essence, California community colleges are facing budget issues at a time when demand outpaces supply.

Usually in such situations, colleges could either raise tuition, or look to decrease costs as solutions. The proposed bill, while under the guise of creating “extension programs” that have increased tuition, is another way of trying to bring in more money instead of decrease costs. Yet an alternate solution does exist – California community colleges can turn to incorporating greater emphasis on online education as a solution capable of bringing down costs. With the advent of online methods, incorporating online courses provides an affordable and relatively swift solution to California community colleges budget and demand crisis. Instead of looking towards a bill that will deny greater numbers of Californians the opportunity of going to community college, California community colleges will be able to keep their mission of open-access education simply by utilizing existing online methods.

Community colleges are supposed to be about helping communities attain affordable education. University of the People, as a model for tuition-free online education, urges California’s community colleges to do the right thing. UoPeople opens the door to constructive dialogue and welcomes California community colleges’ inquiries on how UoPeople’s model can be duplicated by community colleges to successfully bring down the cost of higher education and democratize access for all.


About President Shai Reshef

Starting in 1989, Shai Reshef served as chairman of the Kidum Group, a test preparation company, which he sold in 2005 to Kaplan, one of the world’s largest education companies. While chairman of Kidum, he built an online university affiliated with the University of Liverpool, enrolling students from more than 100 countries; that business was sold to Laureate, another large for-profit education company, in 2004. A vessel for universal higher education, UoPeople has the enormous potential to function as a global stimulus package, reaching even the most remote and poorest places on earth. Our ultimate mission is to democratize higher education and, if the past two years are any indication, this is not merely a pipe dream.
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3 Responses to California’s Community Colleges: Recently Proposed Bill Threatens to Create Sections for Wealthy Students

  1. fesenko says:

    It’s a Solution UoPeople: Meeting Demand and Global Crisis!

    The collapse of the subprime mortgage in December 2006 caused formation of the asset bubble in USA; moreover the crisis situation impacted most of the world economies. To suggest solution from this situation must be known the main problem, and most likely this problem is global.

    Actually the following measures have helped to avoid the words scenario of the Great Depression this time:
    – the anti-cyclical monetary measures and
    – “Socially-inclusive fiscal stimulus packages adopted in 2008 and 2009” (
    To provide a really scientific solution to this question I would quote the Long Tail[1] theory recently popularized by Chris Anderson. According to this theory the larger share of population lies in tail of the normal distribution. So let’s take the statistics of income distribution taken over the nearest 16 years (Figure 1) this statistics provides evidence that taking to consideration the growing productivity “wage moderation introduced a downward bias in aggregate demand of both advanced and emerging economies” (Ilo).
    Figure 1
    Figure 1
    1995 2000 2007
    China 52.3 51.9 39.7
    Korean Rep. 83.8 76.9 77.0
    Japan 63.6 61.7 57.7
    India 67.2 75.0 74.1
    Canada 63.0 61.3 60.8
    France 68.8 67.5 67.3
    Germany 69.8 70.0 64.9
    Italy 70.3 66.2 67.2
    United Kin. 67.7 69.2 68.5
    U.S.A. 67.4 68.6 65.7
    Brazil 42.6 40.5 40.1
    Source (Research Conference. 2011)

    So the explanation of the asset bubble can be easily found from the moorages taken by the part of population lying in tail of the distribution. Moreover, this part is poorer, because it possesses inferior knowledge so is unable to satisfy the most up-to-date productivity requirements; as a consequence the incorrect distribution comes from this disproportion. The UoPeople is one of the examples to find a way out from this situation by giving education for free and worldwide, it exists through volonetering and donations.
    I think that a monetary solution must be found through filing the budgets of the national eocnomies through implementation of the range of the tax reforms, to make the distribution of income more even in over the world.

    [1] The Long Tail or long tail refers to the statistical property that a larger share of population rests within the tail of a probability distribution than observed under a ‘normal’ or Gaussian distribution. (Wikipedia).
    Research Conference. (2011). Key Lessons from the Crisis and Way Forward 16th -17th February 2011 Room II, International Labour Office, Geneva. Retrieved August 08, 2011, from
    Wikipedia. (2011). Long Tail. Retrieved August 08, 2011, from

  2. durgendra karki says:

    actually its great job that benefits all students.

  3. Mirna says:

    I still ask myself if the goal is money or quality: they pass through different ways. The more people will have the opportunity to study, the more the culture will spread its benefits to the real world, to the job, to the life. In this sense, I think we are going backwards -like in the past- when the culture was in the hands of a closed group. This fact introduces to the power of knowledge and the importance of improving the lives of people that could use the benefits of school to become independent.
    The general trend, even in my Nation, is to reduce the costs of schools, research and education (I have a 14 years old daughter and actually, at school, they haven’t chalks, toilet rolls, substitute teachers and support teachers… ). In this sense the online learning could be an appropriate alternative solution.

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