California Community Colleges Approve Overhaul

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Over the objections of angry college students and worried faculty members, California community college leaders voted Monday to support a systemwide overhaul that could end many free classes for older adults and squeeze out students who fail to move quickly through the system.

The 22 recommendations approved by the college system's Board of Governors are intended to address a devilish problem: Essential classes are in critically short supply and thousands of students are turned away from classes they need because of the state's economic crisis.

Board member Peter MacDougall, chairman of the Student Success Task Force that drew up the recommendations over the last year, said colleges can no longer afford to put out the welcome mat they have offered for generations.

"As wonderful as having open admission is, if it's a false promise, it fails," he said.

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