'USF Steps Up' to Offer Half Price Courses
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Response to California's Budget and Education Crisis SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of San Francisco, a private Jesuit university, will offer a limited number of general education courses for half price at its regional campuses starting in January 2010. The courses are offered through USF Steps Up, a new program to help non-USF students trapped by the devastating budget cuts at California's public universities and give them the classes they need to graduate. Budget cuts at the University of California and California State University systems have resulted in layoffs, course reductions, and higher fees and left students scrambling for classes, many of which have been cancelled. "I've heard heartbreaking stories from my colleagues at state schools," says Jennifer Turpin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Francisco. "Students are begging to get into classes, but they can't graduate because they can't get the classes they need. We realized we could help these students and California by offering these classes at our regional campuses, where USF already has a presence." Through USF Steps Up, the university will offer introductory classes at all four of its regional campuses in Northern California to help students satisfy course requirements in the UC and CSU systems. The 3-unit courses will include lower division classes in philosophy, U.S. history, writing, public speaking, Spanish, statistics, psychology, politics and sociology. One section of each course will be offered at each regional campus, located in Sacramento, San Ramon, Santa Rosa, and Cupertino. "The California educational system is in crisis," says B.J. Johnson, vice provost and dean of Academic and Enrollment Services at USF. "If the state can't educate its students, it won't stay competitive in the years ahead. Although USF can't help all the students who are in trouble at the state schools, we can help some of them right here where we live." The discounted price for each unit in this special program will be $560 ($1,680 per course), which is a 55% discount from the regular cost of these courses on the University's main campus in San Francisco. "These discounted classes will help the state universities which are in serious financial trouble, assist students who desperately want to graduate, and help USF fulfill its mission to serve others, especially those in need," Turpin said. There is a second vital benefit to the program: it may help students qualify for financial aid at their home institutions. Some students do not currently qualify for financial aid because they are unable to register for a full course load. By enrolling in classes at USF, they may reach the threshold necessary. Johnson says USF's regional campuses concentrate on offering advanced degrees to working professionals, and most of those courses are taught at nights and on weekends. Because of this, USF is able to offer the new daytime courses because there are no scheduling conflicts and little additional overhead. The university will evaluate the program in the spring of 2010 before deciding whether it will be continued. These discounted classes do not qualify students for USF-funded financial aid, and they do not include the services or use of facilities on the University's main campus in San Francisco. Students are responsible for ensuring that any course credit is transferable to their home institution. For more information, please visit www.usfca.edu/usfstepsup About USF: Established in 1855, USF is San Francisco's oldest university and is consistently ranked as one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the country. The University of San Francisco is committed to being a premier Jesuit Catholic, urban university with a global perspective that educates leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world. With nearly 8,800 enrolled, the university offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as persons and professionals, and the values and sensitivity necessary to be men and women for others. SOURCE University of San Francisco Anne-Marie Devine, director of USF Media Relations, +1-415-422-2697, firstname.lastname@example.org
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