Community colleges under attack

By Staff Editoral

Brewing battles (Allison Perez / Photo Editor)

By Staff Editoral

Ever heard of the California Community College Student Success Task Force? If not, there might be a very valid reason for that.

This organization plans to upheave the community college system that all students currently take part in and replace it with something that can turn away at least 200,000 students who don’t fit the criteria.

Let it be known that the Task Force represents the greatest threat to community college campuses as its main hope is to dismantle the very foundation of the education students need.

If this organization really had the best intentions for the student body in mind, then why does it shy away from mainstream coverage?

The report the Task Force released in September, entitled “Refocusing California Community Colleges Toward Student Success,” shines a light on what not to do with the community college system, and that is to never take the opportunity of education away from the students.

All across California, a major battle is brewing between community colleges and this dreadful Task Force. Why is that?

For starters, the Task Force is planning to send a total of 22 recommendations in the hopes of being written into statewide legislation.

One such recommendation from this organization would disassemble non-credit courses at not only Riverside City College, but to all community colleges within California.

Here’s another example that ought to get your blood boiling. For those of you that wish to take classes outside of a strict educational plan that emphasizes two-year transfer, prepare yourselves for a shocking surprise.

The Task Force has also proposed that community colleges charge students out of state tuition in order to demolish the concept of community based learning.

To put it into perspective, you’ll be barred from being able to take classes that interest you outside your field of major. Unless, of course, you don’t mind being penalized as a result.

You read that right. Despite however long you’ve been a California citizen, you’ll still be charged out of state tuition. In these difficult times, how can something like this even be recommended, let alone be taken seriously by the state legislature?  

“Some of the problems the Task Force identifies are not new to California colleges and are legitimate issues. But the solutions they offer go too far, and are simply a way of ‘giving up’ on scores of students who depend of our colleges,” said Joe Fitzgerald, the editor in chief of The Guardsman at City College of San Francisco.

These actions would cripple the community college system. For RCC students, this affects their education and rights to access it.

In other words, the recommendations listed by the Task Force are unfair to students throughout California.

“We are a system that takes pride in service the most diverse student population in the nation, and we value that diversity as our biggest asset,” the report says.

If there was any truth to that statement, this report wouldn’t exist in the first place, nor would the Task Force feel it necessary to berate Californian students and deny them the education they need and deserve.

Editor’s note: Viewpoints made a factual error on one of the California Community College Student Success Task Force’s proposals.

Viewpoints said “The Task Force has also proposed that community colleges charge students out of state tuition in order to demolish the concept of community based learning.”

Although that was an original proposal, the Task Force removed the proposal in its Nov. 9 meeting because “there was a widespread concern on the Task Force about establish a two-tiered system of fees.”