The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges’ (CCJC) president, Barbara Beno, was placed on administrative leave for six months up to her scheduled retirement. The leave begins 30 days before the Commission is scheduled to make its final decision on accrediting the City College of San Francisco (CCSF). Her removal also precedes the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) decision whether to revoke CCJC’s ability to accredit two-year colleges, scheduled to follow CCJC’s meeting to determine the fate of CCSF.
Last month the Delta Cost Project released its annual report on college spending, Trends in College Spending 1999-2009: Where Does the Money Come From? Where Does It Go? What Does It Buy? Examining the decade between 1999 and 2009 the report paints a bleak picture of the current state of higher education spending with very small but notable improvements in specific areas.
Today’s higher education environment vis-à-vis the national economic situation has ignited a debate over whether a college degree is worth the cost. Significant budget cuts in many states have meant that colleges are raising tuitions, increasing fees, and offering less in scholarship money to students. Few students had enough money saved to pay for college prior to the economic downturn which has had a catastrophic impact on many schools (see my daily headline postings and links in the “Impact of the Economy on Higher Education” section of my blog for some examples).
Last week President Obama announced the American Graduation Initiative, a 10-year, $12 billion plan focused on community colleges. Community colleges play an integral role in the American higher education system and will play an even bigger role as America works toward President Obama’s goals of regaining America’s place as the world’s leader in college completion rates and establishing an American workforce that is able to compete with that of other nations.