Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 15:09
On the first day of instruction at Contra Costa College culinary arts major Kevin Montances had high hopes of enrolling late into a Statistics class he desperately needed.
“I tried to get into the class at CCC but it was too full, so I left to go to Diablo Valley College, dropped into a class there and got in,” Montances said.
Because fewer courses are being offered, fewer students can be seen walking around the grounds of CCC.
There are currently 7,240 students with 709 course sections offered at CCC, the lowest record for fall enrollment in the past 10 years.
Because of the economic downfall and state budget deficits, the district doesn’t have the money to pay for more sections, District Director of Research and Planning Tim Clow said.
“The state isn’t allowing us to pay for active “We have the students. It’s not that we wouldn’t want to provide an opportunity. We can’t teach courses unless we get paid for it. “
Because there are fewer courses available at CCC, psychology major Talela Allen is more likely to go to another community college if the campus isn’t offering a course she needs to take.
“It makes me want to go to another school because most likely other schools would have classes that I need to take,” Allen said.
Because Allen has a goal of transferring within two years, she’s considering going to different community colleges in order to complete the units required for transfer, she said.
As more class sections are cut, classes continue to be excessively crowded as students hope to enroll into the courses they need.
“It was overcrowded in one class, so we had to relocated to a different room and it was still jammed,” Middle College High School student Cesar Cortes said.
“People are trying to claw their way in. It’s not a survival expo where we’re trying to get just one piece of meat,” Cortes said. “It’s not an OK thing. You’re putting in your work and you’re still not getting in (the class). It’s a depressing thing to hear.”
Math professor Glen Scott was one of many instructors who had to turn students away from enrolling in his classes.
“It’s really tough because some people are doing the homework I give even though they might not get (into the class),” Scott said.
EOPS counselor Dionne Perez said because of the budget cuts, students are suffering.
“Five and a half percent of classes were cut and students don’t have access,” Perez said. “For the biological sciences, every semester it’s challenging because courses are being cut so they fill up quickly and some students aren’t able to take the course.”
MCHS, a high school located at CCC, has also been impacted by the lack of courses being offered.
“By being in Middle College, they think we get priority, but we don’t. We have this system where we’re given a specific (enrollment) date and are required to register (then),” MCHS student Kevin Hulen said. “This is a community college and students have other things to do. Some people don’t have the time to be full-time students. It’s sad because you wouldn’t expect community colleges to be competitive.”
Counselor Suzanne Huey thinks students are not taking advantage of their resources, resulting in late enrollment.
“The students put themselves in a bind,” Huey said. “Some don’t come when they’re supposed to show up and they expect everything is going to be handled already. It’s the student’s responsibility to do something.”
When classes cannot be obtained, students turn to alternative solutions.
“With classes being cut, some people feel like, why should they go to school? So they drop out,” Allen said.