By Dominic Indolino |Staff Writer|
A projection made by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) stated that the number of California jobs requiring a college degree will rise to 41
percent by 2025, but the amount of graduates in the state workforce will only increase by 1 percent. This will leave a “drought” of one million college graduates that are needed to work college level jobs according to the PPIC.
Timothy P. White, Chancellor of the CSU, is focused on combating this drought with Graduation Incentive 2025. His new program plans to raise graduation rates for first-time freshmen (FTF) and transfer students (TS) while lowering the opportunity gap for historically underrepresented and low-income students, but the concern surrounding White is if his new initiative will be successful.
Since 2007 the CSU has suffered a 20
percent cut in state funding and the termination of 2,500+ faculty members.
The California Faculty Association (CFA) released a review of White’s initiative in April
2010 noting that these “serious flaws [would] hinder the CSU’s ability to reach this broad goal.”
Despite these cuts, Chancellor White assured students during a press conference on Feb. 13
that he would not raise tuition within the next year. White also promised more fundraising and adopting state supported programs that would award money to the CSU.
The projection made by the PPIC threw the CSU into a race to raise graduation rates despite the cuts in funding it suffered.
White’s initiative is similar to that same PPIC report in which three scenarios to improve California’s outlook were proposed. White failed to address, in my opinion, the most important scenario: increased rates in college attendance.
According to Graduation Incentive 2025, the CSU has already lowered the credits needed to earn a B.A./B.S. degree for 94
percent of programs. White has assured that his initiative will combat any “erosion of quality” with an integration of technology, but said nothing about encouraging existing students to finish their schooling.
White’s initiative does call for expanding programs that “foster success,” but only in transitional programs among first-time freshmen.
Carly Rubio, a CSUSB fifth year, is finding it harder to stay motivated in classes. Rubio said, “I’m losing all interest because the information given to me is so tedious and boring.”
Carly said that it felt like the “quality and excitement” of all her lower division classes has been lost in her upper division ones.
Though White said, “we [the CSU] will never compromise on quality,” we might already be suffering from one.
California is facing a serious issue if its universities cannot meet its need for more graduates. Though Chancellor White’s initiative is outstanding and ambitious, it needs to address retaining the students already attending CSU instead of bringing on new ones.