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California community colleges cancel online deal with Kaplan University

August 25, 2010 |  5:25 pm

California’s community colleges have dropped a controversial plan that would have allowed their students to take some courses at the online Kaplan University and make it easier to transfer to that for-profit school for a bachelor’s degree.

Statewide community college officials said they were canceling a 2009 agreement with Kaplan because the University of California and Cal State systems had not agreed to accept Kaplan courses for transfer credits.  Without these transfer agreements, the plan could harm students and the community colleges, they said.

Kaplan officials did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

The plan was intended in part to offer students at the state’s 112 community colleges a way to take courses that might have been canceled or overcrowded because of state budget cuts.  But some faculty were upset about getting entangled with a proprietary school. Even with a discount, Kaplan was to charge $646 for a three-credit class, compared with $78 at a community college.

Jane Patton, an instructor at Mission College in Santa Clara and president of the community colleges' statewide Academic Senate, released a statement praising the cancellation.  “We have been concerned about potential negative effects on students, particularly the fact that Kaplan courses could not later be carried with them to other universities,” she said.

-- Larry Gordon