May 10th, 2012
More than half the Ph.D.’s in the state are fake.

John Bear, the author of “Degree Mills”, at a hearing in Sacramento yesterday. California has more diploma mills than any other state in the nation, but it is not doing enough to protect students from the unaccredited colleges and vocational schools that issue worthless degrees, state lawmakers said.

California has more diploma mills than any other state in the nation, but it is not doing enough to protect students from the unaccredited colleges and vocational schools that issue worthless degrees, state lawmakers said at hearing yesterday.

Source: The Bay Citizen (http://s.tt/1blJc)

October 5th, 2011
This information, which may reside in the university’s IT system, would allow the campus to strategize a swift and effective intervention, and take steps to prevent violent behavior from ever occurring.
Lt. Michael Morris, a campus police lieutenant at CSU Channel Islands, in an op-ed in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Morris makes the argument that universities should be able to monitor students’ online activity. What do you think? Answer our brief query and share your insights.
August 1st, 2011

Audit finds UCLA misused $23 million in student fees

A state audit released last week says UCLA wrongfully designated $23 million in student fees to pay for two projects that were not included in the original fee referendum approved by student voters in 2000. 

The finding was part of a 15-month audit [PDF] that concluded the University of California system needed to improve transparency in the way it handles its finances. The report also questioned the unequal distribution of funds to the system’s 10 campuses.

The fee started at $84 per year, and wasscheduled to begin in the 2004-05 academic year. It was slated to increase over time to adjust for inflation.

Read full story.

July 11th, 2011

California community colleges consider cutting off repeat course-takers

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors today will consider a policy change that would free up more spaces for new students by limiting the number of times students can repeat certain courses on the state’s dime.

Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott’s proposed policy [PDF] would cut off state funding to community colleges for students who take the same course more than three times. Students could get state funding for a fourth repeat of the class with a successful appeal. It’s a move Scott has been mulling for several months as a way to manage the system’s increasingly limited resources. In 2009-10, the state’s community colleges had to turn away 140,000 students because of course reductions resulting from state budget cuts.

Proponents say allowing students to repeat courses multiple times limits the number of seats available to new students, is an inefficient use of state funding and doesn’t serve students well. Read full story.

July 6th, 2011

CSU tops list of colleges with fastest-growing tuition

All but one of the California State University campuses are on a new list produced by the U.S. Department of Education showing colleges with the fastest-rising tuition and fees – and those campuses will have to submit reports to the federal government explaining the rapid increase.

A set of 54 new lists released last week by the Department of Education shows which colleges have the highest and lowest tuition and “average net price” – the average price paid by full-time students after figuring in grants and scholarships. The lists also show which colleges have the fastest-rising tuition and net price.

Colleges where prices are rising at the fastest rate will be required to report why costs have gone up and what the institution will do to address them. Read more.

Image: San Diego State University via Sprachcaffe Düsseldorf/Flickr

June 22nd, 2011

UCLA to start charging fee on credit card payments

UCLA students who use credit cards to pay their university bills better brace themselves: The university will start charging a 2.75 percent credit card processing fee this fall.

It’s an example of how universities are passing certain costs along to students amid a statewide budget crunch.

Administrators say the move allows the university to stop absorbing the cost of processing credit card transactions – fees that credit card companies charge. Transferring that cost to the credit card-swiping students will save UCLA more than $6.5 million a year, they say. Read more

If you’re a student, how do you pay your fees? And are you aware of these charges? Answer our brief query!

June 14th, 2011

7 state lawmakers, including speaker, lack college degree

It turns out that Speaker John A. Perez isn’t the only college dropout in the California Legislature.

In data posted yesterday, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that four California lawmakers left college without getting a diploma, and three more never went to college.

The California Legislature’s overall college graduate rate is 89.9 percent, the Chronicle reported.

That’s tops in the nation. New Hampshire’s legislature had the lowest college graduation rate, at 53 percent.

Read full article.

May 19th, 2011

During the last decade, roughly 200,000 California high school graduates started college in another state. That’s about one of every six graduates who attended a four-year college.

Use this database to see how many California freshmen enrolled each year at every sizable four-year college in America.

May 3rd, 2011
UCLA undergrads were not far off in their prediction of where Osama bin Laden was hiding out.

Two years ago, a class of UCLA undergrads pretty accurately  predicted the the location where Osama Bin Laden was hiding out. The  students, working under UCLA geography professors Thomas Gillespie and  John Agnew, used geographical theories and GIS software to home in on  the world’s most wanted fugitive.
Science  Insider explains:
According to a probabilistic  model they created, there was an 89.9% chance that bin Laden was hiding  out in a city less than 300 km from his last known location in Tora  Bora: a region that included Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he was killed  last night.
On top of this, they identified 26 “city  islands” that they considered to be the highest probability hideouts.  To be clear: the class identified the nearby city of Parachinar as being  the most likely hideout.

(via Ecosystem Geographers Predict Bin Laden’s Hideout - Politics - GOOD)

UCLA undergrads were not far off in their prediction of where Osama bin Laden was hiding out.

Two years ago, a class of UCLA undergrads pretty accurately predicted the the location where Osama Bin Laden was hiding out. The students, working under UCLA geography professors Thomas Gillespie and John Agnew, used geographical theories and GIS software to home in on the world’s most wanted fugitive.

Science Insider explains:

According to a probabilistic model they created, there was an 89.9% chance that bin Laden was hiding out in a city less than 300 km from his last known location in Tora Bora: a region that included Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he was killed last night.

On top of this, they identified 26 “city islands” that they considered to be the highest probability hideouts. To be clear: the class identified the nearby city of Parachinar as being the most likely hideout.

(via Ecosystem Geographers Predict Bin Laden’s Hideout - Politics - GOOD)

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California Watch, the largest investigative journalism team operating in the state, was launched in 2009 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting. Areas of coverage include education, health and welfare, public safety, the environment and the influence of money on the political and regulatory process.

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