Summer classes reduced

Leeta-Rose Ballester

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[media-credit id=21 align=”alignnone” width=”400″]Summer classes reduced[/media-credit]The budget crisis in California continues to shake the foundation of San Jose City College and this year’s summer session will take a particularly large hit, according to administration representatives. There will be significant changes to the class lineup this summer.

According to the budget analysis presented to administrative staff on Feb. 12, SJCC has a $1.7 million deficit. SJCC administrators have decided to start by eliminating between 107 and 110 summer classes in order to amend budget issues, said Hector Cordova, vice president of academic affairs.

“We are still going to offer the core requirements,” Cordova said. “We’re dedicated and committed to doing that.”

Cordova said GE classes and necessary supportive classes will be offered but cuts will be made to duplicate sections.  Some programs will see bigger changes than others.

“Particularly in the career and tech areas, some of those programs need to revitalize themselves in the fall and the spring because they can go without a summer offering,” Cordova said.

Class offerings will be reduced by 34 percent compared to last summer, with minimal evening or weekend classes offered, Cordova said.

“One of the key decisions we had to make was to keep the classes limited to the day and afternoon,” Cordova said. “It’s mostly a day program.”

The decision to reduce summer classes by such numbers was made in hopes that fall and spring class schedules can be more “robust,” Cordova said.

“Given the fact that many students are either traveling or working in the summer, most attendance is in the fall,” Cordova said. “So rather than trying to cut each term equally, percentage wise, we are making judicious decisions to say, ‘These are the core courses, and we will limit the options during the summer.’ We have fewer amounts of dollars to work with, and we needed to figure out what will do the most good for most of the students.”

Cordova also said that he is “optimistic” about SJCC’s future, and as a former SJCC student, is “committed by personal and professional reasons.”

The plan to make the summer session a day program is unsettling to some students, particularly those who work.

“No evening or Saturday classes will definitely affect me. I work during the week,” said Rafael Martinez, 35, business major. “It sounds like if you are trying to get a career certificate or improve job skills, you are out of luck. I’m glad this is my last year here!”

Miguel Medina, 43, liberal arts major, said some students are already feeling the impact from the current reductions and worry about further cuts.

“In my opinion, we are already experiencing overflow in key classes,” Medina said. “I am noticing San Jose State (University) students here, too, especially during summer sessions. Maybe it will filter out those who are serious, and those who are not.”