By Sergio Portela and Mayra Sanchez
More opportunities for students to take classes that would otherwise be closed
SB 520 is a measure presented by Senator President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento. The bill will set up the first of its kind statewide network of faculty approved online courses for credit.
This bill is to be paired with two other bills that were passed in 2012, SB 1052 and SB 1053, which will create an online library where the 50 most popular lower level college textbooks can be downloaded for free, or $20 for hard copies, for California State Universities, Universities of California, and community colleges.
The classes will only be available to those students who are unable to get into the classes they need to earn a degree or if the school does not offer the class.
ARC student David Stewart, like many others, has had issues trying to get into certain classes.
”There’s been a of couple times that I’ve wanted to take a class, and every time I try, its full or it just doesn’t work for my schedule. If there was an online version of it, I would of already of taken it,” said Stewart.
Last fall, according to Legalinfo.com, 80 percent of the state’s 112 community college campuses reported waitlists for classes. On average, that equals to about 7,000 enrolled students forced onto a waitlist at each campus.
This bill will be able to take those students on waitlists for their needed classes and allow them to earn their credit online so they can transfer to a four-year university.
Joshua Kuykendall, an accounting major at ARC, is a supporter of the bill.
“I’m for it. Its perfect for those people who are more on the fast track, they can get it done faster,” said Kuykendall.
Senator Presidential pro Tem Steinberg believes that this bill will help struggling students be able to move forward with their education.
“The California Master Plan for Higher Education promised open access to all, yet thousands of students are struggling to complete their degrees and going deeper in college debt because there simply aren’t enough classroom seats available in the courses they need,” said Steinberg in a press release. “We need to tear down these barriers. We want to lead the nation in melding technology with our great institutions of higher learning. No college student in California should be denied the right to move through their education because they couldn’t get a seat for the course they needed. “