California, the Golden State, is the third largest, most populous, and wealthiest state in the United States with a subtropical climate, located on the west coast of the country by the Pacific Ocean, a paradise for billionaires, entrepreneurs, creative people, hippies, surfers, and, of course, students.
The national composition of the inhabitants of California is very diverse, there is no absolute ethnic majority. That’s why living and studying in California is a great experience, including getting to know different cultures, languages, getting a variety of knowledge, and an infinite number of recreation and leisure options.
There are about 300 educational institutions in California that are authorized to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees. There are more than a million students enrolled in institutions that offer programs at the undergraduate level and above. Many international students come to California to study, most of them from India, Japan, Korea, China, and Canada.
California Education System
The basis of the education system of California is the California Master Plan for Higher Education adopted back in the 1960s of the twentieth century. It made the educational system in the Golden State one of the most successful in the country and in the world. Subsequently, many other U.S. states adopted California’s experience.
Thanks to the General plan the access of local students to the state higher education has been simplified, the quality and variety of the programs have considerably increased, and isolated higher educational institutions have united into large, branched networks operated from the unified center. Many state resident students attend California’s top public universities at no or low cost.
Private institutions, whether large and strong or very small, play an important role in California’s education system. Private institutions, which develop their own methods and standards, support the Master Plan’s vision of broad choice and maximum diversity in higher education options that should provide opportunities for students to develop fully.
Both private and public institutions of higher education in California are mandatorily accredited by state-mandated agencies.
California Institutions of Higher Education
The first step to higher education in California is community colleges, which are institutions that allow students to earn a professional degree or complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree.
There are 113 community colleges in California, enrolling more than 1.7 million students each year. The best of them are guaranteed spots at California’s public universities if they want to continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree. This system is called transfer – transferring from one institution to another. International students can also attend community colleges, which is a good way to lower tuition.
Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD degrees are available to American and international students at public and private colleges and universities in California. Many of them have excellent academic and scholarly reputations and rank high in the world’s top rankings.
The fact that California’s two largest public universities alone enroll almost 700,000 students annually speaks volumes about the scale of California higher education.