California Master Plan in need of update

1960 TIME—UC Chancellor Kerr, the Father of the
California Master Plan for Higher Education, on TIME cover.

By Pamela Estrada

Representatives of the higher education system were in Sacramento, reviewing the California Master Plan established in 1960 to further the success of students in higher education. The fourth hearing was held by Assemblymembers Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto), Jose Medina (D-Riverside), and Dr. Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) on May 8th.

It was presented that a need for diversity within faculty was a priority, along with the investment to build better incentive packages to attract qualified professors.

According to Berman, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California, the student success relies heavily on students ability to relate to the faculty.  The student body is much more diverse than it was 58 years ago when the plan was first established. It is time the faculty catches up.

In agreement with Berman, assemblymember Jose Medina, Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee said, “College faculty and staff play a tremendous role in a student success.”

Having previously heard testimonies from students, financial aid faculty, and custodial staff, it is clear that as a whole community, from the students to the custodial staff, the work set before them will have to be done together to achieve success.

This brought forth the questions regarding funding, understaffing and reliance on temporary faculty.

Within the voices of finance, the students made clear that they were concerned about paths created for transfer students.

The success that the California Master Plan created 58 years ago giving all students a place to go or establish themselves after high school is affected by the changing numbers, cultures and economy within the area.

The 58-year-old plan is now attempting to include the faculty and staff to further its success within the UC, CSU, and Community Colleges.

East Los Angeles College President Marvin Martinez said the California Master Plan is, “long overdue” for a review and update due to the changing times and peoples since it was first established in the 60s. Martinez mentioned that just recently an organization called The Campaign for College Opportunity made an appearance at ELAC for the program Left Out. ELAC’s diversity within the classrooms brought this program for its research and awareness campaign on just that, diversity.

Pointing out that diversity within colleges is being reviewed outside the Sacramento conference and the changing California Master Plan, Martinez urges the review of the changing data that shows just how much the 58 years has brought to colleges across the state. To start off alone, ELAC holds a diverse student body and Martinez pushes to bring diversity within the classrooms.

The outcome in whichever way the representatives choose to go will require as much of a commitment as it originally did. The original plan is said to have been “an enormous commitment and the basis for the Master plan” according to UC Institution Research and Academic Planning.

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