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Cal Considers Online Degree Program

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BERKELEY, Calif. (KCBS) Could a UC Berkeley degree be just a click away?

University of California regents will meet this week to hear about a pilot program that would have Cal become the first in its class to offer an online bachelor’s degree comparable in quality to its campus program.

“The administration is trying to raise money by selling the UC brand online,” said geography professor Richard Walker, who is the vice chair of Berkeley’s Faculty Association.

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Walker is among many who is worried that in its haste to cut costs, the administration could launch a program that ends up cheapening the Cal brand and reducing the college experience for students.

“I think it’s a diversion from our main responsibility, which is on campus teaching,” said Walker. “That may seem old-fashioned but it’s absolutely essential that students have the direct, face-to-face contact with professors and teaching assistants in the classroom on an ongoing basis.”

Walker said that any prospect of an online degree should be reviewed, and in fact controlled by the faculty.

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