With California's higher education system at capacity, the most popular courses fill up fast - especially courses students need to graduate. "We've had many students who have had to take frivolous units - taking state subsidization in order to simply keep their financial aid in hopes of getting that one course that they need to graduate or to transfer," says Richard Copenhagen, a College of Alameda student and president of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges.
So the bill by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg would
set up online courses for the 50 most over-subscribed classes at
the UC, CSU and community college systems. "This is not
technology for technology's sake," says Steinberg,
D-Sacramento. "It addresses a real challenge."
It's not yet clear how much the online classes would cost and where that revenue would go. And school administrators and faculty unions still have reservations. But Steinberg and Governor Jerry Brown have made clear they believe California campuses must offer these classes to serve more students - more efficiently and less expensively.