CSU trustees hope online classes will ease bottleneck on required courses – 89.3 KPCC (blog)

Cal State LA

Officials said more online courses will help students at California State University, Los Angeles and other campuses complete graduation requirements.

California State University officials today laid out to its trustees how the university  plans to ease students’ access to required courses in the fall — a huge problem that affects tens of thousands fo students at all 23 campuses.

During a trustee meeting in Long Beach, Cal State officials said budget cuts have led to bottlenecks in lower level classes such as college algebra, general education biology, and micro economics.

“We have 22 courses across the CSU where we have high enrollment and also low success in those students completing those with good academic grades,” said Gerry Handley, head of CSU’s Academic Technology Services.

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The university is counting on a $10 million allocation proposed by Governor Jerry Brown to tackle the problem.

Handley said the money will be spent on a three-pronged plan:

  • Increase online class options so that students can take a required class online at another Cal State campus.
  • Improve pass rates for these classes so students don’t have to take the class again, which would reduce demand on the courses.
  • Improve academic counseling, which officials said will help students complete general requirements for their majors.

Critics of the university’s efforts to expand online class offerings said the experience with remedial classes shows pass rates drop when courses are offered online. Cal State officials don’t dispute that – but say they’ll make sure an online class is the same quality as an on campus class.