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ERIC Number: ED512401
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Ready for Learning: The Contribution of California's Independent Colleges and Universities in Meeting Undergraduate Demand. Report 10-17
Wilson, Stacy; Newell, Mallory; Fuller, Ryan
California Postsecondary Education Commission
Although public universities account for most of the higher education enrollment in California, independent colleges and universities make an important contribution to meeting enrollment demand. California's 76 independent non-profit colleges and universities provide a wide range of degree and certificate programs. In fall 2008, the independents served approximately 241,000 undergraduate and graduate students, a number that could not be absorbed by public campuses, given the existing and projected demand. The purpose of "Ready for Learning" is to: (1) Update policymakers and the general public on the range of independent institutions serving California and the importance of incorporating the independents as an integral part of state higher education long-range planning; (2) Provide a benchmark estimate of undergraduate demand for the independents by student ethnicity and institution type; (3) Highlight key demographic and economic factors that influence demand for the independents; and (4) Identify additional data elements that would enable CPEC (California Postsecondary Education Commission) to derive undergraduate demand projections for the independents that are more refined and useful for higher education planning. Undergraduate demand estimates were derived from two forecast models: a demographic model that relies principally on observed and projected changes in college-going rates and the population aged 18 to 49 by ethnicity; and an economic model that considers projected changes in personal income, annual unemployment, and Cal Grant funding levels as a function of student demand. Both models estimate undergraduate demand for the independents to increase by about 16%, from about 130,000 students in fall 2008 to approximately 150,000 in 2019. The similarity in findings is evidence of construct validity in modeling enrollment demand. The findings are also consistent with projections developed in 2009 by the National Center for Education Statistics that show undergraduate enrollments at private institutions increasing by 13% nationwide. CPEC analysts recognize that estimating demand for the independents is more complex than for public colleges and universities. The independents, unlike public institutions, are not a system with a common purpose, mission, and legislated obligations and mandates. The objective of "Ready for Learning" is not to project precisely how many students will be enrolled at any particular independent institution in a particular year, but to derive a reasonable and valid trend in undergraduate demand to support long-range planning. Following formal Commission adoption of this report, staff expects to convene an advisory committee consisting of representatives of public and independent institutions to identify policy recommendations that address the increased enrollment demand shown by these projections and CPEC's projections for the public systems. Appendices include: (1) AICCU's [Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities'] Comments on the Projections; (2) Methodology; and (3) Participation Rates, by Classification and Ethnicity, 2000-2008. (Contains 8 displays.)
California Postsecondary Education Commission. 770 L Street Suite 1160, Sacramento, CA 95814. Tel: 916-322-9268; Fax: 916-327-4417; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: California Postsecondary Education Commission
Identifiers - Location: California