California’s community colleges have dropped a controversial plan that would have allowed their students to take some courses at the online Kaplan University and make it easier to transfer to that school for a bachelor’s degree, reports the Los Angeles Times. State community college officials say they’ve canceled a 2009 agreement with Kaplan, a for-profit institution, because the University of California and Cal State University systems had not agreed to accept Kaplan courses for transfer credits. Without the transfer agreements, the plan could have harmed students and the community colleges, the officials said. Kaplan University said it was disappointed by the decision but “will continue to foster relationships with California community colleges and to look for innovative ways to help students meet their academic and career goals.” The plan was intended to give students at the state’s 112 community colleges a way to take courses that might have been canceled or overcrowded because of state budget cuts. But some faculty were concerned about getting entangled with a for-profit school. Even with a discount, Kaplan planned to charge students $646 for a three-credit class, compared with $78 at a community college……Read More
The for-profit online institution Kaplan University has an offer for California community college students who cannot get a seat in a class they need, reports the New York Times: Under a memorandum of understanding with the chancellor of the community college system, they can take the online version at Kaplan, with a 42-percent tuition discount. The opportunity would not come cheap, however; Kaplan charges $216 a credit with the discount, compared with $26 a credit at California’s community colleges. Supporters of for-profit education say the offer underscores how Kaplan and other profit-making colleges can help accommodate the mushrooming demand for higher education. At the same time, government officials have become increasingly concerned that students at for-profit colleges are far more likely than those at public institutions to take out large loans—and default on them. For better or worse, the tough times for public colleges nationwide have presented for-profit colleges with a promising marketing opportunity. “We thought, in light of the budget crisis and the number of community college classes which are being canceled, if we have that same class here, we would give students the opportunity to take it at Kaplan,” said Greg F. Marino, president of Kaplan University Group, a profit-making business owned by the Washington Post Company……Read More
Prospective students returning to college after a lengthy layoff can gauge their basic English and math skills beforehand to make sure they’re ready for online classes with a new program designed to find the most qualified and disciplined students for web-based courses.
Test Drive College Online, launched May 5 at no charge, matches applicants with online institutions that best suit their academic goals after the student passes a 20-question College Competency Exam, which includes freshman-level math and English questions that help advisors identify students who aren’t yet ready for higher education.
Once students pass the competency test, they can enroll in a five-week course designed as a test run, letting them understand the demands of web-based classes before they pay tuition and find they can’t handle the workload. If the student completes the course, an advisor helps the student transfer the credits earned during the five-week class and enroll in any one of 200 online programs.…Read More