For students of the country’s largest public university system, California State, it’s common to face overcrowding and the inability to get sufficient classes to graduate on time. One possible solution is a new online set of courses offered by Cal State.
A program of 36 online courses has been introduced for students enrolled at any of the 23 California State campuses. Subjects in high demand, such as biology, statistics, and business finance, will now be available to anyone in the CSU system across the state. This setup, if proven to be effective, could reduce graduation times for students and keep more classroom space available for other classes.
This new cross-campus course option is part of a response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s encouragement to the public education system to utilize technology to better benefit its students. The 36 courses were funded using $17 million of the state education budget designated for online education. The online classes will begin this fall semester (or quarter, depending on the school), and students will be limited to a single online course at a time offered at a different campus than their own. They will, however, be allowed to take as many online classes as they like offered from their own campus.
Ideally, this new online program will allow students to get enough classes to graduate sooner. Several students have expressed difficulties in getting enough credits to graduate. Samantha Simmons, a San Francisco State student, said, “I’m a dedicated student, but despite that, it’s still going to take me at least six years to get my degree — I can’t get the classes I need because of overcrowding.” For students who entered a Cal State University in 2006, the four-year graduation rate is only 16 percent, the five-year rate sits at 40 percent, and the six-year rate is 51 percent.