Even in today’s bitterly divided politics, certain trends still get bipartisan support. A case in point is “2+2” college education. Advocates believe that most students should enter the university having already completed the first two years at high school or community college, speeding the path to graduation and work. The trend is already well underway.
President Biden referenced the approach in his recent national address, proposing to make community college free. Here in Kansas, the Board of Regents is made up of appointees by both Republican and Democratic governors. For years, the Regents have enthusiastically embraced this move with little, if any dissent. It not only makes college education available to more people, it also boosts the percentage of the population with college degrees, filling needs in our increasingly service-based economy.
I have done my part, and then some. I co-chair the political science task force of the Regents’ Transfer and Articulation Council (TAAC), where we hash out shared outcomes for general education courses to facilitate smooth (and mandated) transfer between all schools in the system. At Emporia State, I have led or co-led the creation of two graduate certificate programs, certifying high-school teachers to teach “dual enrollment” courses for college credit. I reassure entering transfer students that ESU will take their credits and then follow up. I have also been teaching some courses online for a decade, and I helped create several all-online degree programs.