Unable to provide enough courses to meet demand, California’s community colleges cut a deal with the for-profit Kaplan University, reports Inside Higher Ed. Students at certain community colleges can take Kaplan’s online courses for community college credit at a substantial discount.
A standard three-credit online course at Kaplan costs $1,113, and a discounted three-credit course there costs California students $645. By comparison, a three-credit course at a California community college costs a mere $78.
Scott Lay, president of the Community College League of California, thinks few students will pay the premium. But what if the convenience outweighs the cost? After all, time is money.
Kaplan is meeting student demand — unlike the overcrowded and underfunded community colleges — writes Sara Goldrick-Rab on Education Optimists. Faculty are complaining they weren’t consulted on transferability of credits, she writes.
Professors like to sign off on what courses can count to “replace” theirs — seemingly because they want to ensure educational quality, but let’s face it, it’s also because it helps to protect their jobs.
. . . The president of the Academic Senate of the California Community Colleges was quite straightforward about her priorities when she told a reporter, “I’m hard pressed to see where we could … make this favorable to faculty.” Huh? Since when is ensuring the continuation of a degree, and the portability of credits, meant to be about helping the faculty?
A study will analyze the success rate of students who take the Kaplan option. If they do well, that could let legislators off the hook for funding college-based classes, Goldrick-Rab writes. But if it serves students, why not?