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California college students are taking longer to graduate, going well-beyond the traditional two- and four-year benchmarks to earn degrees in the Community College and Cal State University systems. That’s creating expensive consequences for students and the state, according to a new report released this week. So, why are students taking so long? And who’s to blame?

Also, while the screenplay reigns supreme in these parts, LA’s literary community has a new scene... in a bar.

Banner Image: The entrance to the headquarters of the California Community Colleges at 1102 Q Street in downtown Sacramento; Credit: Coolcaesar

Students Taking Longer to Earn Degrees from Community Colleges 15 MIN, 44 SEC

In the 1960s, California made a pledge to its young people: if you wanted a college education, you could get one, starting with Community College. Today the state’s 112 Community Colleges, with 2.1 million students, makes up the largest higher education system in the county. But that half-century long promise is in trouble. A new report finds students are taking longer to get both their Associate and Bachelor’s degrees, and that means college is getting more expensive.

Guests:
Michele Siqueiros, Campaign for College Opportunity (@MSCollegeOpp)
Jordyn Orozco, Pasadena City College Associated Students (@suprst4rduh)
Jack Scott, former Chancellor of the California Community Colleges (@DrJackScott)

Reza Aslan Looks to Enliven LA’s Staid Literary Scene 8 MIN, 28 SEC

No doubt about it, writing is a lonely sport. Words come from within, and go to a computer screen or thumb drive. Or, if you’re old school – and a lot of people are old school – a piece of paper. Even from a typewriter. But the lonely writer needs dialogue, too. Other people with whom to talk, laugh, and commiserate. Drink.

The religious scholar Reza Aslan teaches creative writing at UC Riverside. He’s best known for his writings on Christianity and Islam, with his bestselling books Zealot, a biography of Jesus Christ, and No God but God, about the origins, evolution, and future of Islam. But he’s also the host of a new literary series called The Writer's Room at the West Hollywood nightclub DBA. The next show is tonight with playwright, screenwriter and producer Liz Meriwether, from the TV show New Girl.

Guests:
Reza Aslan, University of California, Riverside (@rezaaslan‎)

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