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College of Creative Studies - Wikipedia
"The College of Creative Studies is the smallest of the three undergraduate colleges at the University of California, Santa Barbara, unique within the University of California system in terms of structure and philosophy.[4] Its small size, student privileges, and grading system are designed to encourage self-motivated students with strong interests in a field to accomplish original work as undergraduates. A former student has called it a “graduate school for undergraduates”. The college has roughly 350 students in eight majors and approximately 60 professors and lecturers.[4] There is an additional application process to the standard UCSB admission for prospective CCS students, and CCS accepts applications for admissions throughout the year.


In the late 1960s, the Chancellor of UCSB, Vernon I. Cheadle, was looking for an alternative education program for undergraduate students which could embody the new thinking of the 60s and also attract attention to his growing university. He contacted a professor in the English department, Marvin Mudrick, to come up with ideas for this new program. In 1967 the University of California allowed funding for Mudrick to start up the most promising of those ideas, the College of Creative Studies.

The program started with approximately 50 students in 7 majors: Art, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Music Composition, Literature and Physics. The experimental program struck a chord with its students and faculty, and along with the powerful pushing of Mudrick as its provost, it secured its place at UCSB. The program grew over the years in student and faculty size and in 1975 found its home in a building at UCSB that dates from when the campus was a World War II marine base. In 1995 the college added the major of Computer Science. In 2005, with the retirement of Provost William Ashby, the title of the Provost was changed to Dean and the College was placed under the leadership of Dr. Bruce Tiffney.

The Art department includes the only undergraduate book arts program in the University of California system. Recently, the Physics program has become regarded as one of the best undergraduate Physics programs in the nation; its students attend graduate schools with percentages resembling those of Ivy Leagues. CCS students have won the UCSB Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research several times in recent years. Literature students run Spectrum, a literary magazine, and Into the Teeth of the Wind, a poetry review.


The philosophy of the College of Creative Studies is that certain undergraduate students are capable of rigorously exploring and adding to their chosen field of knowledge. Students skip introductory courses as appropriate and are encouraged to accomplish original work throughout their time at the College: Literature students compile a portfolio of writing, art students put on a minimum of two shows displaying their work, music students perform their own compositions, and science students enter labs by their sophomore years to conduct research and write scholarly papers for publication.

The College considers students to be the most important people involved, not the faculty or administration. It has a low student-teacher ratio, and each student is paired with a faculty adviser with whom they meet at least once a quarter.

Privileges and grading system

CCS students have few general education requirements and may take almost any course in the entire university, including graduate classes, without being required to complete the prerequisites. They can drop classes up to the last day of instruction in the quarter, a privilege intended to encourage students to attempt taking many units and advanced classes without being penalized in the case that they bit off more than they could chew.

In CCS classes, students do not receive letter grades. Instead, the College uses a sliding unit scale where if a student completes all the work for a class at a satisfactory level, the student receives a full 4 units for most classes. If the student completes less work, he/she would receive fewer units, and if the student goes beyond expectations, a professor may give student more units. This system aims to promote a non-competitive atmosphere that focuses more on the student learning the material rather than learning how to take a test.

CCS students are afforded many privileges to help in the pursuit of their education.

• Fewer prerequisites: If a CCS student can show a capability of taking an upper division or graduate class, even without the prerequisites, the college greatly facilitates the process of getting the student in that class.

• Drop class and change grading: CCS students may drop any class up until the last day of instruction. This privilege is given as a backup if a student happens to try taking advanced classes or more classes than the usual student. They may also change their grading between letter grade or pass/no-pass for classes outside CCS.[5]

• Priority registration: CCS students are among the first students at UCSB to sign up for classes each quarter. They sign up at the same time as honors students and athletes.

• Higher unit cap: CCS students have a unit cap of 95.5 units per quarter. However, most students take between 15 and 25 units a quarter.[5]

• Building access: All CCS students receive a key to the CCS building and have 24-hour access to it.

• Computer Lab: CCS students have 24-hour access to their own computer lab where they have free Internet access, printing and photocopying.

• Library checkout: CCS students get quarter-long check-out from the UCSB library and may renew materials up to five times."
srg  ucsb  ccs  alternative  colleges  universities  highered  highereducation  grading  grades 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Snarkmarket: I Got My BA In IS From the CC
"Community colleges have long been where the bodies are in higher education, but now it’s ridiculous. The economy’s collapse has sent college students’ enrollments rolling downhill - kids who would have gone to expensive private schools are enrolling in moderately priced public universities, the university kids are going to regional colleges, and the regional students to community colleges. If you want to get more students with college degrees, community colleges are a natural place to start...Think about it. Community college students (and teachers and IT departments) today often aren’t as tech-saavy as their university counterparts, but they can innovate in the use of digital technology. In fact, they have to. They don’t have the same physical plant and infrastructure as larger, more expensive schools. They’re unlikely to have folks on campus doing original research. They’re not mainframes. They’re terminals. But there’s a difference between smart and dumb terminals."
communitycolleges  colleges  universities  education  future  flexibility  lcproject  technology  change  reform  adaptive  adaptability  money  recession  learning  snarkmarket  economics  ccs 
july 2009 by robertogreco
College of Creative Studies, UC Santa Barbara
"A former student once described the CCS as "a graduate school for undergraduates." This is an apt description, not in the sense that we expect freshmen to enter CCS with a disciplinary knowledge base equal to that of a graduate student, but we do expect the same level of passion and commitment to the discipline. ...
ccs  ucsb  ccsucsb  colleges  universities  gradschool  academics  undergraduate  education  learning  progressive  alternative  art  altgdp 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Snarkmarket: Anti-Teaching [see the comments too, quotes below are from them]
"I was always so frustrated by the private parallelism of school - 100 people all writing the same report at the same time. Or writing the same report year after year after year. What a waste...[CCS at UCSB is] just 1960s alternative education...I've tried to avoid letter grades in my seminars at Penn & the students hate it. They're conditioned to judge themselves that way & I think rightly fearful that an anti-grade orientation on individual projects is just a mask for an arbitrary grade at the end of the course. My arts students at UArts go for it & portfolio grading seems to be the prevailing trend in writing programs at least; I think it could work for literature courses as well. Ideally I think education is more about modeling tools than transmitting information -- although...Next semester I'm experimenting with a course structure that frontloads content & backloads research & writing tools -- exactly so students have the time to do something synthetic."
anti-teaching  michaelwesch  snarkmarket  teaching  education  learning  synthesis  content  tools  alternative  assessment  grading  classsize  colleges  universities  lcproject  tcsnmy  grades  ucsb  ccsucsb  ccs  deschooling  unschooling  progressive  unlearning  gradschool 
july 2009 by robertogreco

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