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College slashes class offerings

Posted: July 23, 2009 10:37 p.m.
Updated: July 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Gloria Okada, left, and her husband Kenji register for fall English classes at the College of the Canyons admissions and records office Thursday.

 
College of the Canyons has slashed fall class offerings by 12 percent due to state budget cuts, sending students scrambling for classes as the first week of registration closes.

"We've never seen reductions of this level," said COC spokeswoman Sue Bozman. "It just means that this unprecedented number of people who need to go to school are all competing for a lot fewer seats. There's a pressure that's pretty huge."

The college was forced to reduce its budget by $11 million for the 2009-10 school year.

Student trustee Nicolas Cardenas predicts that the class reduction will most affect the community college's newest students, who typically register last for classes.

"It makes it difficult for the population of new students, especially, to obtain the classes they are hoping to get," he said.

"I think there will be classes, but not everyone's first choice will be met."

The reduction in classes offered could make it difficult for students to balance their education, work schedule, homework and commute time, he said.

Registration for the fall semester began Monday and continues into August.

"People are registering like crazy," Bozman said. "It's very busy in registration. There are some classes that are already full."

Because most students register for classes online, the college's online MyCanyons system overloaded.

"Core classes" required for graduation or transfer - such as math and English - were those that filled most quickly.

Once a class fills, a first-come-first-serve waiting list is created so that if an enrolled student drops out of a class, a wait-listed student has the opportunity to take the class.

College of the Canyons offered 1,750 credit and noncredit sections during 2008's fall semester, Bozman said.

For the upcoming semester, the community college is offering 1,542 credit and noncredit sections, a reduction of 208 sections, she said.

Noncredit classes are typically adult education classes that range from GED preparation to home computer classes, she said. They are tuition-free.

The number of credit-only classes is at 1,462 for the fall semester, a drop of 171 sections from 2008's fall semester, she said.

However as registration continues, the number of classes may drop even lower as those with low enrollment are canceled, she said.

Excluding noncredit classes, the college has reduced its fall-semester classes by 10.5 percent, Bozman said.

The number of canceled sections stands at 12 percent when noncredit classes are taken into account, she said.

"The kind of classes that took the biggest hit were the noncredit classes," Bozman said.

English-as-a-second-language classes were reduced from 11 sections to eight.

"We have a population of people who really need those classes," Bozman said.

For some classes, the college added sections to meet the needs of the community.

The college increased the number of sign-language sections from 18 to 19, given the popularity of the classes.

"This is a program that leads to careers," she said.

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