State Update

California Takes a Look at Online Course Offerings

(State Policy, Education) Permanent link   All Posts

S.B. 520, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-CA), passed the Senate Committee on Education by a vote of 8-0, and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations for further consideration. This bill would establish the California Online Student Access Platform (platform) under the administration of the President of the University of California, the Chancellor of the California State University, and the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges. The bill would also require the platform, among other things, to provide an efficient statewide mechanism for online course providers to offer transferable courses for credit, and to create a pool of these online courses. Further, the bill would require that students taking online courses developed through the platform who achieve a passing score on course examinations be awarded full academic credit for an equivalent course at the University of California, the California State University, or the California Community Colleges.

A.B. 1306, sponsored by Assembly Member Scott Wilk (R-CA), was referred to committee and set for a hearing; however, the hearing on the bill was cancelled by the bill author. The bill would establish The New University of California as a 4th segment of public postsecondary education in the state. The bill would also establish an 11-member Board of Trustees of The New University of California as the governing body of the university. In addition, under the proposed legislation, the mission of The New University of California is to issue college credit and baccalaureate and associate degrees to any person capable of passing examinations administered by the university. According to the bill text, the goal of the university is for its students to obtain the requisite knowledge and skills to pass the examinations administered by the university from any source, such as massive open online courses (MOOCs), the student deems appropriate.