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Kaplan and the Community Colleges June 22, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, Education.
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Facing severe budget cuts and drastic cuts in course offerings, last February,  some California Community Colleges announced a deal to outsource some of their courses to Kaplan University, the for-profit “education” company responsible for GRE prep courses, etc.

Kaplan University and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office today announced an agreement to allow California students to take single courses at the online University to help them fulfill their campus-based associate’s degree requirements.

The… program allows California students to enroll in online Kaplan courses that have been approved by individual California community colleges. Students in the Kaplan University Community College Connection program will be eligible for a 42 percent tuition reduction on their Kaplan University courses.

Apparently, this is not going so well.

Months later, though it is unclear how many students have taken advantage of the option, critics view the deal as at best an “evil necessity” and at worst a dereliction by community college and state leaders of their responsibility to ensure a low-cost postsecondary education for state residents. Some also worry that Kaplan’s marketing of the agreement gives prospective students the appearance of a state endorsement of the company in particular and for-profit education in general.

One of the problems is cost:

A standard three-credit online course at Kaplan costs $1,113, and a discounted three-credit course there costs California students $645. By comparison, a three-credit course at a California community college costs a mere $78.

Another problem is that California State University and University of California may not accept these courses as transferable. That is a lot of money to pay for courses that may not be of high quality and that 4 yr schools may not accept.

Public education is a public responsibility. It cannot be farmed out to private business. This is just another example of how we look to private business to solve public problems that private businesses are ill equipped to solve.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

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Comments»

1. Asur - June 23, 2010

I agree that the outsourcing of essential services to private business is inherently flawed — I object to the Conservative agenda in part because this is a consequence of it.

As I see it, the government has a duty to burden the people no more than to the extent necessary to adequately provide those services essential to their well-being.

It is a logical necessity that, in order for the provision of these services to generate a net profit for the institutions providing them, those institutions must place more than the least burden on the people necessary to safely provide those services.

Thus, every instance of such outsourcing represents a failure of the government in its duty to the people.


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