In September, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 850. The bill is a pilot program that will allow 15 community colleges in California to offer one four-year degree program on their campus. California will be the 22nd state to offer bachelor’s degree programs at community colleges. Students taking advantage of the bachelor’s degree programs at the community colleges will be pay much less for their education than students at other California colleges, including California State University campuses. Students at California community colleges could receive a bachelor’s degree for approximately $10,000.
The law stated community colleges would not duplicate courses offered at the University of California or California State University. Instead, the program would fulfill the need of current unmet workforce needs in the local community or region. Once the bill was passed, community colleges districts were invited to submit program proposals and applications to be selected as one of the fifteen colleges. Thirty-four community colleges submitted completed applications, including seven Bay Area colleges.
Below is the list of colleges who have submitted applications and the degree program that have been proposed:
A team has been formed by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to review the applications. The team will include Chancellor’s Office staff, a member of the business workforce community, and representatives from CSU, UC and community colleges that did not apply to host a program. The team will consider geographic distribution, diversity of programs, ability of the district to establish a rigorous program in the field, and that the program will meet an unmet workforce need in the community or region. The team will make their recommendations to the Chancellor, Brice Harris, who will decide what applications are submitted to the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors is scheduled to meet and make their decision on Jan. 21. The programs selected would be required to launch by the 2017-2018 academic year, but could start as soon as this fall.
The beginning of the year is a time many people create their New Year’s resolutions. Common resolutions include losing weight, working out more, or being more organized. For college bound students, it is a great time to set goals for college. Here are some ideas for New Year’s resolutions for college bound students.
Study hard. Colleges are more likely to admit students who do well academically. Better grades also give students an edge in scholarship competitions. Therefore, it is a good time for students to evaluate their study habits, buckle down, and put in the work to do well in their classes.
Turn in schoolwork on time. Knowing the material is great, but forgetting to turn in assignments can hurt grades. No matter the reason students do not turn in their assignments, it is a good time to figure out why. If assignments are missed because they forget, students can start to better organize their schedules and assignments. If assignments are missed because students procrastinate, students might want to consider figuring out why they put assignments off to the last minute and work towards starting assignments easier.
Evaluate extracurricular and volunteer activities. Colleges like to see students who have quality extracurricular and volunteer activities. Instead of stacking up activities, it is better for students to find quality activities they enjoy and do more than just show up on a membership roster. It is a good time to evaluate how they can get more involved in an activity or take on a leadership role.
Apply for scholarships. Students give many reasons for not applying for outside scholarship, but there is a lot of money up for grabs. There are scholarships available for students of all ages, including students in elementary school. Scheduling even a short amount of time every week, such as an hour, can be a good use of time. Any scholarship, even the smallest amount, can help pay for college.
Get to know teachers and school counselors. Students get so busy with their schoolwork and activities that they forget about making connections with their teachers and counselors. Teachers and school counselors have a lot more to offer than just the subjects they teach. They are great resources when it comes to college and career advice. They are also the people students will need to turn to when they need a recommendation. The best recommendations are the letters that are written by people who know more about the students than just how they participate in one class.
Update or create a resume/brag sheet. Resumes or brag sheets are great resources. When organized well, a brag sheet serves as a great reminder of all of the things a student has accomplished. It can be used to help students fill out college and scholarship applications. The brag sheet can also serve as a great resource for the people who will write recommendation letters for students. Lastly, some colleges and scholarships allow students to submit resumes with their applications.
Research colleges. All high school students, including seniors who have already applied to colleges, can do more research. Research includes reviewing college websites, signing up for college mailing lists, and visiting colleges.
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2015!