In the best cases, technical education is not just training. In the worst cases, training in literature, history, and mathematics is not always education. Oversimplifications do injustice to both pursuits.

“If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.”

R. Buckminster Fuller

California community colleges are pressing to offer four-year degrees. According to a CCnewsnow.com story, Brice Harris, Chancellor of the system’s 112 community colleges in California, assembled a group to study the viability of four-year degrees at the two-year schools in fields with high workforce demands.

The group argues this way: The California Master Plan for Higher Education, launched in 1960, was based in part on the premise that jobs and the economy of California are the result of first-rate, post-secondary education. Baccalaureate workforce education is not being fully addressed by the four-year institutions in California. The community colleges want to fill the void and offer baccalaureate degrees in select fields. San Diego Community College Chancellor, Constance Carroll and the committee say workforce training is an important part of higher education’s mission and community colleges are ready and willing to do it. Universities seem unready and/or unwilling.