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Leaders of California's community college system are touring the state asking for feedback on a set of recommendations they believe will help more students complete their studies and land a job.

Sounds simple enough, but some of the suggestions are likely to stir opposition from various corners of the education environment -- there are some ideas faculty will likely balk at, and other ideas students are sure not to like.

The draft report by the "Student Success Task Force" calls for refocusing the state's 112 community colleges to emphasize goal completion, rather than the historic priority on open access to all. It includes 23 recommendations. Among them:

  • Create a statewide assessment system so that students can take classes at different community colleges without taking a placement test at each campus.

  • Require students to declare a program of study early in their academic career; create an online advising system that helps students keep track of progress toward their goals

  • Adopt course-registration priorities that are the same statewide so that students who are new to the college can sign up early on.

  • Cut off fee waivers to students who are persistently failing or dropping courses.

"We think with these kinds of policies we're going to say to some people: 'Get serious,'" Chancellor Jack Scott told The Bee's editorial board on Monday. "'Don't just be a professional student, dabbling in a whole lot of things.'"

College officials are holding public meetings to take feedback on the report -- in Fresno on Wednesday, in Orange County on Saturday and in Oakland on Nov. 16. You can see more about those meetings and links to the report here.

Community college leaders are supposed to finalize their recommendations in January, when they will also develop a package of bills intended to implement some of the changes.


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