Is Higher Ed the Next Target of Corporate ‘Reformers’?

Jul 23, 2013 by

The proposed shuttering of City College of San Francisco bears unsettling parallels to K-12 school closings.

BY Rebecca Burns

As students at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) registered for fall classes this month, they received an alarming piece of news: The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), one of seven regional accreditors in the western United States tasked with ensuring the quality of higher education programs, announced that it would terminate the school’s accreditation in July 2014. Currently serving more than 85,000 students, CCSF will be the largest school ever to lose its accreditation, which will effectively ensure its closure by disqualifying students from receiving federal loans and grants and the college from state funding.

The proposed shuttering of one of the nation’s largest community and junior colleges, labor and education activists charge, bears unsettling parallels to the K-12 school closings that have wracked urban areas this year, and foreshadows a corporate-backed reform movement come home to higher education.

As many community colleges have turned their backs on open-door admissions policies and moved towards more selective enrollment amidst deepening budget cuts, City College has fought to preserve the mission of open and accessible education for all. It’s the largest provider of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in San Francisco and of free, noncredit adult education courses in the state of California. Through the “Second Chance” program, which recruits and supports formerly incarcerated students, it also provides important services for disenfranchised members of the community.

via Is Higher Ed the Next Target of Corporate ‘Reformers’? – In These Times.

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