What is it? What is the Constitutional Amendment to Create a New University of California Online? What is its purpose?
It is very simple really. We own the University of California, the California State University, and the California Community Colleges. This initiative establishes our right to audit all publicly owned higher education online at no cost and establishes our right to fully access all publicly owned accredited degree programs online at cost. Without impacting the tax payer, a new university, the University of California Online (UCO) comprised of all University of California courses and any other publicly owned courses not taught by UC, would be created to facilitate these new rights. UCO would be accessible through two divisions: one free and one "for credit." Students would be allowed to complete courses at their own pace.
Who can attend the new University of California, Online?
It is worth repeating. Everyone gets in. There will be no gatekeeping. UCO will not prevent anyone from bettering themselves with a fully accredited higher education. Full stop.
Will it be high quality? Will it be fully accredited? Will academic credit at the new University of California Online be equal to the University of California?
By law UCO courses will at least be as rigorous as the University of California and be fully accredited. Academic credit will be fully fungible with UC.
How will current and future UC, CSU, and CCC students benefit from the new University of California Online? What is the benefit to a UCO student?
Current or future UC, CSU, and CCC students can take an impacted class, take a portion of their classes, or even finish their degrees online, at lower cost through UCO. They can audit or preview a course before they take it. Likely, they will be able to purchase their own books for less at the new UCO Bookstore. UCO students will benefit from dramatically lower tuition and books costs. They will be able to take courses at their own pace.
How will the new University of California Online reduce book prices?
Tuition at the new university will include books. The UCO Bookstore will carry all UCO, UC, CSU, and CCC books for sale. As a large buyer of books, UCO and the UCO Bookstore will be able to negotiate lower book prices and must pass those savings on to students. In addition, professors will be encouraged to utilize lower cost open source books.
Could the new University of California Online lessen the need for students to take on so much student debt?
Any time you reduce student costs, you lessen the need for students take on so much debt, full stop.
What does it mean that students at the new University of California Online can complete courses at their own pace?
Completing courses at your own pace, means that a student can enroll into UCO on their own schedule, turn in their mid-term paper when they are ready, and take their final exam at the time of their choosing. Labs are the exception. The lab portion of a UCO course will be scheduled by UCO.
The new University of California Online sounds very expensive to build, why won’t the taxpayer be impacted?
UCO’s Division II, the “for credit” division, will have tuition. Tuition will be set to cover all costs of both divisions. Although the new university will be initially funded by revenue bonds, by law those bonds will be repaid from UCO tuition revenue received.
Will the University of California’s finances be separate from the new University of California Online’s finances? How will Division II tuition at the new University of California Online be calculated? And will those calculations be transparent to the public?
UCO – with its own president, budget, academic senate, and endowment – will be totally separate from UC. Tuition from UCO’s Division II shall be set to cover all costs of both divisions. Tuition will vary by course after reflecting fixed costs on a prorated basis and adding specific course variable costs. Also, tuition will include books. By law the new university would not be able to overcharge. UCO’s line item cost accounting shall be publicly viewable online.
How can the new University of California Online teach classes with a lab?
Although UCO is an online university, some courses will require the student to be physically present in a lab or academic setting. As student demand is identified for such labs, the UCO President may contract with other entities local to the students, as necessary, to meet this demand. Brick and mortar schools have online classes. This online school will have physical labs.
Will students take their tests online? Will the new University of California Online proctor the tests?
Although, it will be up to UCO administrators to establish their own test taking rules and guidelines. UCO may require that tests be taken offline in a physical setting with proctors. As student demand is identified, the UCO President may contract with other entities local to the student to meet this demand. Proctoring is a student cost.
How will the new University of California Online be created? How will it get on the ballot? How will it become law? Where are we at in the process? How can we make it happen?
UCO is a state wide ballot measure amending the California Constitution. I just submitted it to the California Attorney General August, 2017. Later this year, probably early in November we will have 180 days to obtain at least 585,407 valid signatures to put it on the ballot. At that time, I will start a social media campaign to collect signatures. Volunteers will be asked to collect 10 signatures, get two of their friends to collect 10 signatures, and get those two friends to do the same. The math is powerful. Eighteen generations of this transformative activity and literally we could have over 2 ½ million signatures in just a few days.
Please note all 18 year old California registered voters can circulate petitions and collect signatures. Any high school student that will be 18 by November 6th, 2018 can register to vote now and can sign (not circulate) the petition.
Once on the ballot we will need 50% plus 1 “Yes” votes on November 6, 2018 ballot to make UCO a reality. Put your Facebook friend requests into me, Boyd Roberts. Message me, tell me you are "in" and let me know what county you live in. Like my Facebook Page, UCOCA now and stay tuned.
If you would like to contribute, go to my website www.UCOCA.org and click donate. I promise if you contributed $5 – even if you make it recurring – you will never notice and you will feel good about having helped creating the highest quality, lowest cost, and most accessible university in the world. Just saying.
How will the new University of California Online compare – in terms of quality, access, course selection, and cost – to other online postsecondary education alternatives like the “for profit” universities and the Massive Open Online Courses (the MOOCs)?
Online alternatives run the gamut from the “for profits,” like the University of Phoenix, to the free Massive Open Online Courses (the MOOC’s). The University of Phoenix – not world renowned in terms of quality – is relatively accessible, is expensive, does have a decent selection of courses, and does offer “for credit” curriculum. The MOOCs offer very high quality, fully accessible, free, but a limited selection of courses without course credit. UCO would have it all. It would be high quality, have a full range of courses, have free/low cost “for credit” components, and be accessible by all.
Why create a new University of California Online? Who is UCO meant to serve?
Owned by all Californians, the new University of California Online would be set up to serve: anyone who wants to better themselves with a higher education; lifelong learners that simply want to audit a class; UC, CSU, and CCC students that want to save money, take an impacted class or finish online; rejection letter recipients; disenfranchised/former or soon to be former students of “for profit” universities that want a high quality, low cost, flexible higher education option that they would not otherwise have; GI/veteran benefit recipients that want their federal student loan monies better utilized and the resulting university degrees more valued in the market place; prisoners wanting to make something for themselves.
Will the new University of California Online, Division II students have student aid, scholarships, and loans available to them?
UCO will be fully accredited. Student aid, scholarships, and loans should be available.
Is the new University of California Online’s “free” division, 100% free?
No, UCO’s Division I will allow the public to audit all courses, programs, and digital libraries for free, but questions to professors, course books, course materials, and labs will be at cost.
How could the new University of California Online improve postsecondary completion rates?
More causal, less serious students will have the option to audit free Division I courses. More serious “for credit” Division II students after paying tuition and having the ability to complete courses at their own pace, will be more likely to finish. “For credit” course completion rates will go up.
How could the new University of California Online improve our economy?
Education is always the answer. Once UCO is built and the flood gates of access and opportunity have been opened, education will be within reach to more people. We will become better educated. We will be more productive. Our economy will flourish.