City College Times

Where did spring classes go?


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By Steve Hill and Jerica Lowman / Times Staff

San Jose City College administrators canceled classes from winter intersession and spring 2012 schedule because of low enrollment.

“Twenty-four classes were canceled campus-wide,” said Leandra Martin, dean of math and science. “Some of the cancellations are concurrent and some are lecture/lab.” 

In some cases, there were a few extenuating circumstances for the low enrollment.  

“In one case, we had a disproportional amount of physical education classes cut just because we changed the name to Kinesiology and students did not find the courses,” Martin said.

Some classes were added to the schedule shortly before the beginning of the spring semester, which also affected enrollment numbers.

“Two classes (humanities courses) offered were not in the printed schedule because they were added late in the face of student demand, but they never filled because of their lack of visibility,” said Pat Gerster, dean of humanities. 

In addition to low enrollment, the budget plays an important role in what classes the school provides and cuts.

“All students should know that the state of California is going through a budgetary crunch,” said Nicholas Akinkuoye, vice president of academic affairs. “If the state has a budget deficiency or a shortfall, it affects what they give to colleges.”

Martin said the state has reduced the amount of funds SJCC receives per student.  

According to the Community College League (http://www.ccleague.net),  the total budget cuts for the 2011-12 school year to the 112 California community colleges is $564 million.

Martin said a 5.6 percent workforce reduction for the coming year would result in additional program and staff cuts.

Workforce reduction means that the state is lowering the amount of money they reimburse to colleges for each full-time student.

In order for classes to be safe from cuts, classes have to be full. 

“If there is a class that is not filled to the class sizes agreed to, it may be cut,” Akinkuoye said. 

“I didn’t have any classes dropped, but I did volunteer to have my overtime cut to accommodate for my coworkers,” said Donna Mendoza,
theater instructor.

Akinkuoye said most basic classes, such as humanities, social studies, language arts and other general education classes, are
always available, but the advanced classes may be offered on rolling basis.

“If we don’t have enough students and we cancel it,” Akinkuoye said, “the following semester, we’ll open it up so that the group of students who have been waiting for that particular class, will be able to take it that semester.”

Students from colleges all over California, including SJCC, marched to the Capitol in Sacramento on March 5, demonstrating their dislike of all the budget cuts.

Akinkuoye said, “It’s unfortunate that this predicament of deficiency of budget is affecting community college and students.”

 

 

 

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Where did spring classes go?