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Tidying the Record on Community Colleges

June 06, 2004

Re "Our Sloppy Local Colleges," editorial, June 1: You are correct when you say that the governor is not funding the community colleges nearly enough to help transfer students. But you are under-researched on several points: Not all of California's community colleges require physical education to graduate. You didn't make it clear that a two-year associate's degree is not a transfer requirement. And transfer-ready students who take full transfer-class loads can easily transfer within two years if they choose to do so (and if the four-year university accepts them).

Only about 13% of community college students are full-time; many full-time students take 2 1/2 years to transfer because the California State University or the University of California allows them to transfer 2 1/2 years of work. Most students are not full-time because they work or care for families while in school. Criticism of colleges that "pad" graduation requirements with unneeded courses is appropriate, but to say that all California community colleges are doing it is just, well, sloppy.

Craig Justice

Dean, Special Programs

and Services, Chaffey College

Rancho Cucamonga

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