Silicon Valley community college wins $17M for statewide online education

Silicon Valley’s Foothill-De Anza Community College District won a $16.9 million state grant to establish a new state-wide online education program aimed at increasing graduation rates, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reports.

The grant was jointly awarded to Foothill-De Anza and fellow Northern California community college district Butte-Glenn. The two will partner to increase access to online classes, hopefully boosting the number of associates degrees earned and students transferring to four-year schools.

In addition to the initial eight-figure grant, which will be available to the schools starting Dec.1, the program can potentially receive up to $10 million annually for the next four years starting in 2014-2015.

About 49 percent of California Community College students actually receive the degrees they are pursuing, according to school data released in April. That proportion (which drops to 40 percent for Hispanic or African American students) has declined in recent years after the system saw $1.5 billion in state funding cuts.

Read more