Board of Trustees to implement technology based learning

   

The Board singled out the major factors preventing students from graduating on time, and labeled them bottlenecks, or anything that makes it harder for students to graduate.

Some of the most common reasons given for bottlenecks are insufficient funding to hire faculty,  and therefore a lack of class sections being offered, not enough seating capacity for lecture courses and labs, and students repeating courses to improve their grade.

In an effort to address these bottlenecks, $10 million from Governor Jerry Brown’s budget combined with $7.2 million approved by Chancellor Timothy P. White are being spent in an effort to infuse technology into the curriculum.

With these funds, the Intrasystem Concurrent Enrollment (ICE) Program was created, giving students 33 additional online courses. 

Virtual Labs are being developed to help create space for science, technology, engineering, and math departments, which require a large amount of physical space for labs. The first virtual lab workshop is to be held in late October.

Online courses allow students who may only be able to attend school part time to have a greater chance of graduating on time. 

They also help students to complete certain requirements that may not be offered on campus or may be full.

eAdvising is being implemented to all 23 campuses in order to discover efficient ways to reach graduation, track progress to completing degrees, and display opportunities for enrollment during registration. 

The Board of Trustees also discussed the progress of the 120-unit limit that was instituted across all California State Universities bachelor degrees in January. 

According to Dean of the CSU Chris Mallon, nine campuses have managed to reduce all of their degrees to the 120-unit cap, with all changes taking effect in fall 2014.

Some high unit programs like nursing have had success at reducing their degrees to 120 units, while others like engineering still have 70 percent of their degrees above the 120 unit cap.

Twenty percent of California State University students are still in degrees above 120 units.

Assembly Bill 447 was signed by Governor Jerry Brown last week. The bill allows the secondary student trustee to vote in the absence of the main student trustee, so that California State University students will always have a representative. 

“Students must have a voice in the events on their campuses,” said Assembly Member Das Williams, who introduced the bill. “These bills knock down the doors to create more student representation.”

Brown also signed Senate Bill 325, which allows sophomores in good academic standing to become one of the two student trustees, opposed to previously requiring student trustees to be juniors.

Julia and Scott Starkey were guests to the committee, and spoke about their son Carson, who died from alcohol poisoning during his freshman year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2008. 

In an effort to prevent such events in the future, they have created “Aware Awake Alive,” a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing students with the knowledge of how to detect alcohol poisoning and respond properly in order to save lives. 

With eight California State University campuses already using “Aware Awake Alive,” the Starkeys urged that the remaining 15 campuses use the program as well.

“You said his life ended and his legacy began, but it is also now your legacy,” said White, before stating that “Aware Awake Alive” will indeed be implemented in all 23 campuses this year.

“Perhaps our action will be one more step forward to making his (Carson) death and all it represents to so many other families a little bit less painful.”