College of Liberal Arts Dean Doug Epperson spent February encouraging students to vote to increase the college’s fee so it is at the same level as Cal Poly’s five other colleges.
The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) hosted a series of forums around campus this past week about the proposal to increase its college-based fee (CBF). While the forums were not highly attended, here’s your chance to learn about the fee:
1. What is the current situation?
The college-based fee is the same in every college except for CLA. Full time students pay $112 less quarterly than those in other colleges.
2. Why does it matter to liberal arts students?
If the proposal fails, liberal arts students have an extra $112 in their pockets every quarter.
At our current state, though, the CBF’s inequity hurts the college’s ability to support excellence in student learning at the same level as other colleges, Dean of the CLA Epperson said.
Colleges at Cal Poly are not equalized under the current fee — meaning students in CLA might not have the same enrichment opportunities or state-of-the-art equipment. This proposal could change both of these things.
“CLA is just as equipment-intensive as business, for example,” Epperson said. “We need good instructional equipment in our classroom to be effective.”
3. What are the benefits of this proposal, if passed?
Epperson estimates the fee would generate approximately $1 million annually, depending on enrollment.
A portion of this money will contribute to course access funds, making it easier to get classes, but a large part will be dedicated to “enhancements.”
“When the money goes, it goes, but our students still need courses,” Epperson said. “Our only option is to make the pie bigger.”
In addition, Epperson said the indirect benefit of the proposal is the college will continue to produce strong graduates who preserve the value of a Cal Poly degree.
4. What are these enhancements?
The four major enhancements are “earn-by-doing” opportunities, where the school subsidizes work opportunities for students; monetary support for student travel; student clubs and co-curricular activities; as well as new interdisciplinary courses and Learn By Doing opportunities.
Problems companies face are multi-disciplinary, Epperson said. Providing more interdisciplinary courses could benefit students in the long run by teaching them to work with each other in unfamiliar territories.
“When you graduate and you’re one of the 100,000 liberal arts graduates, these are the things that will set you apart from your peers,” Epperson said.
The student vote will be online on Feb. 25 and 26. If the proposal is passed, it would be implemented in Fall 2014.