Martial arts course threatened by cuts
Possible reductions hinder students
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 15:09
Over the past decade, Contra Costa College has been forced to reduce class sections available to students because of the lack of funding provided by the state of California.
Tae Kwon Do, one of the three martial art courses offered at CCC, meets on Monday and Wednesday nights and could possibly be on the chopping block if Proposition 30, the Sales and Income Tax Increase Initiative, fails to pass on the upcoming Nov. 6 election,
“If Proposition 30 doesn’t pass, we’re looking to reduce by 6 percent for the spring 2013 class schedule or 60 course sections, (equivalent to) 3,200 (faculty) clock hours,” Interim Vice President Donna Floyd said.
The election in November will determine if CCC will have to continue the trend of cutting classes and lower the course selection for the spring 2013 schedule, depending on whether or not the tax initiative passes.
“Certain percentages of reductions are applied (across) the three instructional divisions if the proposition does not pass,” Dr. Floyd said.
The three divisions impacted by the possible reductions are the Liberal Arts; Library, Allied Health, Vocational Education & Athletics (LAVA); and the Natural, Social & Applied Sciences (NSAS).
Tae Kwon Do falls under the LAVA Division as a physical education course and is a possible elimination option due to only having part-time instructors who have part-time percentage loads, which equal out to one or two courses.
“What we want the college to realize is that we have values and we’re not just a P.E. class,” Jade Cheng, a third degree black belt who is in the Tae Kwon Do class this semester, said. “We work hard on becoming role models. (This class) helps students improve their confidence and lead better lives. We had the most signups at Club Rush this past year and tend to always have a high enrollment rate.”
Billy Doty, Tae Kwon Do Club president, agreed. “We do meet the enrollment requirement and we are under the radar so we started the (Tae Kwon Do) club last year. We understand the budget cuts are needed but they start with part-time (courses). What other community colleges (in our area) have a successful Tae Kwon Do class?” Doty asked.
The Tae Kwon Do Club, which consists of students from the beginning and intermediate Tae Kwon Do classes, competed in a state tournament as recently the spring semester.
Floyd said, “Every full time (instructor) teaches a minimum of a 100 percent load equivalent to five lecture courses at three units each. Part-time instructors have lower percent loads that round to three courses or less. If part-time faculty have two or three classes it would be reduced to one.
“We are systemically compiling the spring schedule with reductions in mind so we can add the 6 percent to the schedule if it (Proposition 30) does pass. Just in case it doesn’t pass we need to know what those reductions are.”
Cheng said students in the Tae Kwon Do class evolve as individuals while learning humility and self defense.
“We’re not in here just to fight, but to grow.”
Concerning the 6 percent reduction, Dr. Susan Lee, dean of the LAVA Division, said, “Several drafts of the spring schedule are being made. Department chairpersons are building their schedules and passing on recommendations to deans who have the final say (for scheduling).
“The state reimburses the college less and less every year and we’re forced to make reductions because there is no money to pay the faculty.”
Tae Kwon Do instructor Arnoldo Bolanos said part time instructors (at CCC) are not treated as a priority. While at other colleges full-time teachers make sacrifices in their teaching schedules to help pay for classes part timers teach, such is not the case here.
“I want students to better their future and make for a better society, but politics and budget cuts hinder that,” he said.