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L.A. Now Live: Hard times for California community colleges

September 25, 2012 |  8:00 am

The Times' higher education reporter Carla Rivera will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. Tuesday to discuss the state of California's community colleges.

Rivera reported that students are taking longer to transfer to four-year colleges and universities because classes are full or not offered each semester.

The California community college system is the workhorse of California's 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education, which promised affordability, quality and access to all.

In reality, the state's two-year colleges are buckling under the stress of funding cuts, increased demand and a weak record of student success.

The situation can be seen on all 112 campuses — students on long waiting lists, those who take years to graduate or transfer and others so frustrated that they drop out. Most of them enter ill-prepared for college-level work. Eighty-five percent need remedial English, 73% remedial math. Only about a third of remedial students transfer to a four-year school or graduate with a community college associate's degree.