Friday, January 23, 2015

CC's To Provide BA's? That's BS.

In all honesty I have yet to take a position on this new situation:
Bachelor’s degrees in mortuary work, ranch management and consumer technology design will soon be coming to California community colleges.

Under legislation signed last fall by Gov. Jerry Brown, the system’s governing board on Tuesday tentatively approved four-year degree programs at 15 community college campuses that will be introduced over the next three academic years.

“This is an historic day in our system,” California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris said.

Changing technology and educational expectations have driven employers in fields such as dental hygiene, respiratory therapy and automotive technology – which once required only two-year associate degrees – to seek workers with a baccalaureate.
In general, whenever there's a big change I take the statistics approach to hypothesis testing:  assume the status quo and look for strong evidence that it is not "correct"; in other words, I want to be convinced beforehand that a major change is going to be beneficial.  For whatever reason, though, this isn't ticking me off, so I guess I'll take a "wait and see" approach to determine if this change is or isn't worthwhile.

My initial impression is that this is silly and not the way to go, but I don't know if that's me being right or me just being curmudgeonly :-)


Auntie Ann said...

My take is that with more people going to college and with costs skyrocketing, more low-cost options are a good thing. Demand has been increasing without growth in supply with the predictable increase in prices; conversely, increasing the supply should help the cost come down.

However, many of those students have no business going to college anyway and will never graduate. What they need far more is for a competent K-12 system, and for a diploma to mean something. College degrees are often demanded by employers not because their employees need the extra learning, but because a diploma is so degraded as to tell an employer nothing about what an employee can handle, or even if an employee can read competently.

I see Obama's free, free!, FREE!!! CC-For-All plan in the same light. It is essentially a promise to make public education run K-14, instead of K-12. It's not what we need.

pseudotsuga said...

On one hand, it's credential inflation.

On the other hand, the reason why these former two year degrees now seem to need four is probably the abysmal K-12 results. High school graduates once had the math, writing, and other skills that now require two years of college for catching up.

I keep wondering why we don't follow the German or British education practices, but then I remember that we're all for "equal" opportunity in the USA, so the lowest common denominator pulls that bell curve down pretty low.

Darren said...

Auntie Ann, if I agreed with your premise, those CC students from "bad" K-12 schools should be able to do fine and catch up in CC--but that's not the case. I'm becoming more and more convinced that "bad" schools are really showing us "bad community".

Auntie Ann said...

Shhhhhhh! You're not allowed to say that!

Darren said...

Nyah nyah, just did!