Thursday, August 30, 2012

Long Beach Students Head Back to School

School's back in.

The Long Beach Press-Telegram reports, "First day of school in Long Beach a lesson in waiting":

LONG BEACH - Long Beach City College student Vicky Van was hoping to enroll in a psychology class on Monday, but at No. 14 on the wait-list, Van knows her chances are slim.

"I'm going to try again on Wednesday, but I doubt I'll get in," said the 19-year-old Wilson High School graduate. "It's just so crowded this year."

Thousands of area college students headed back to school on Monday for the first official day of the fall semester. And as community colleges and universities face millions in state budget cuts, students are being greeted with higher tuition, crowded classrooms and fewer courses.

Education officials warn that more cuts loom on the horizon if voters fail to pass a November tax initiative designed to fund public education.
The article discusses Long Beach State, and then continues:
Long Beach City College is also facing significant budget challenges.

Funding for California's community colleges has been cut by $809 million over the past three years. California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott has said the system will face another possible $338 million loss in funding depending on the outcome of the November tax initiative.

As a result of the budget cuts, community college students this fall are facing fewer classes, fewer instructors, higher fees and larger class sizes. On Wednesday, Scott and other system leaders plan to hold a news conference to discuss the steps that colleges are taking to offset funding cuts at a time of increased demand for community colleges.

Meanwhile, LBCC this month announced a plan to cut up to 20 instructional programs and lay off about 10 full-time faculty members next year for a savings of $2 million.

LBCC President Eloy Oakley said the college plans to cut less popular programs in an effort to focus more resources on the core courses students need for transfer and graduation.

This fall, the college increased class sizes by about 10 percent for the majority of its courses, said LBCC spokesman Robert Garcia.

Many students on LBCC's liberal arts campus said classes this fall seem larger and also more affected than in previous years.

"I was surprised because I registered early this summer and I still got wait-listed," said 19-year-old Long Beach resident Jonathan Bealta.

Bealta said he was originally No. 12 on the wait-list for his English class but was bumped to No. 2 on Monday after several students didn't show up for the first day of class.
There's another video with President Oakley, and he makes no mention of the layoffs, "LBCC - 2012/13 Message to Faculty and Staff."

My classes were jam-packed. Lots of students are petitioning classes and I routinely admit all comers --- 13 students petitioned my Monday-Wednesday 11:00am class in American government, and there were almost that many trying to add my Tuesday-Thursday early morning classes.

These are tough times and students not only enroll in large numbers, but way fewer of them drop out than in earlier years. The tough fiscal times have forced students to be more careful about maintaining their enrollment, even if they're not doing especially well in their classes, which is an ongoing problem.

More on that later.

Meanwhile, also at the Press-Telegram, "California community colleges facing dire times."