Governor Newsom and State Legislature Consider Reviving a Postsecondary Education Coordinating Commission

A report by the Public Policy Institute of California reviews the situation of public postsecondary schooling in California and analyzes how to best pursue coordination between postsecondary public institution in the state.

The report which gives a thorough historical analysis of the now defunct California Postsecondary Education Commission, as well as the Master Plan for Higher Education which assigns discrete roles to the California Community Colleges (CCC), California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) systems determines that a successful coordination commission must be defined by clear goals to provide a “strong rationale for eliciting cooperation from the segments.”

One key area that exemplifies the need for a coordinating entity is the process for student transfer between CCCs and the four year institutions. Without an entity to oversee such programs the governor and legislature are responsible for addressing issue that cannot be resolved by any of the three institutions alone.

Though the PPIC concedes that there is “no ideal set of choices,” any option to coordinate these entities will be judged by the details of the program. They identify three key issues which will be instrumental in the composition of such a commission including: Institutional Placement, Duties, and Composition. According to their analysis they favor an “independent council that is empowered to provide leadership in pursuing the state’s higher education goals. A citizen panel, working with the segments, can assist policymakers by creating a plan for achieving state goals, developing potential solutions to intersegmental problems, and provide reliable, in-depth information to inform the higher education policy debate.”

Read the full report Here.