It is spring equinox: time to get your head in the game!

Students may still be feeling the after effects of the holiday season from the end of last year. Going back to school after the December holidays may be difficult, even after a couple of months have passed. However, it is now the end of March and hopefully with a new season comes new found motivation for all things school-related.

March 20th marked the first official day of spring, and with it comes not only the possibility of nice weather, but also an important time to focus on your grades. With only a few months left until summer vacation it is time to gear up and finish the academic year strong.

Seniors in high school may be hearing back this month from the colleges to which they applied. Whether the news is good or bad, stay focused on your studies and keep pushing until the end. Colleges do not want to see students lose interest in school after receiving acceptance letters; so make sure to maintain your focus, stay involved in all your extracurricular activities, and always aim to get the best grades possible. Do not throw in the towel so close to the end of the school year!

Recent news about the California Community College System might interest those students looking to pursue a college education after high school. Under a pilot program signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, certain community colleges in the state of California will be able to offer bachelor’s degrees. This idea comes after an increasing need for more skilled workers in specific fields such as health, science and technology. Providing bachelor’s degrees at junior colleges would make education, and later employment, much more accessible to people who may not have been able to afford it before.

Out of 112 city colleges in California, 34 applied to be part of this initiative. Education officials made their decision this past January on which 15 colleges would be able to participate in the pilot program. Happily for the Bay Area, Foothill College in Los Altos Hills and Skyline College in San Bruno made the cut, and were chosen to offer degrees in dental hygiene and respiratory care, respectively. The 15 chosen colleges will start offering bachelor’s degrees sometime before the fall of 2017, and the program will run until 2023. The programs are expected to be highly competitive and have high rates of applicants; but they will be limited to a small number of students. Those students who are accepted into the programs will be able to obtain a bachelor’s degree for about $10,000. It’s a great opportunity to access higher education for lower prices than colleges in the California State Universities or the University of California systems. CSU and UC colleges need to review the pilot program to make sure that the junior colleges will not be offering anything already being offered by CSU or UC colleges. After that step is completed, the pilot program is free to start. You can see a list of the 15 community colleges that were picked, the programs they will offer, and more details about this pilot program at http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/15-California-community-colleges-get-OK-to-offer-6028368.php

Blog by Maria Castro, B.A., UCSD

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~ by Jane Radcliffe on March 25, 2015.

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