Summer Session Situation Gets Tight

May 5, 2010

Because of budget shortages the college is cutting one summer session and reducing summer course offerings by 40 percent.

Last year GCC had approximately $3 million allocated for its two five-week summer sessions. For the upcoming summer, it has about $2.2 million to spend, an $800,000 reduction from to the summer 2009 budget.

As a result of limited availability, classes are expected to be in high demand.

According to Mary Mirch, interim vice president of instruction, “Classes have been filling very quickly.”

In the winter, classes filled within the first few days of priority registration.

The anticipated demand has raised the minimum number of students required to be enrolled in a class. This number, also known as the fill rate, for last year’s summer sessions and the 2010 winter intersession was 20 students per class. This summer the number has been raised to 24 in order to serve more students with the given cutbacks.

Depending on the number of students enrolled in a class in a given time frame, classes that do not meet the fill rate may be cancelled.

“If … [a class] has eight or nine students two weeks beforehand and [the enrollment numbers] aren’t moving, then we’ll [cancel the class] then,” said Mirch.

For classes that just barely reach the fill rate, however, Mirch doesn’t anticipate cancellation becoming too significant of an issue.

“I don’t think we’re going to see too many classes where 23 students are in it and we don’t meet 24,” she said.

The cuts in offerings were made by division chairs, who, according to Mirch, “were trying to figure out what best meets the needs of our students,” given the financial circumstances.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office advised the college to maintain transfer certificate, career and technical education, and developmental classes.

Most of the classes being offered this summer fall into those categories. Glendale has also focused on maintaining courses that are transferable and meet general education, Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) and Breadth requirements.

Although in recent years the college has usually offered two sessions in the summer, double summer sessions, along with the winter intersession, were implemented in the late ’90s. Prior to that, the college simply offered a single six-week summer session in addition to regular semesters.

While budget woes continue to face California, Mirch said the college is doing its best to serve students.

“We are still committed to having a summer session and that’s why we went back to our more traditional six-week [session],” she said.

The cutback in classes has created a stressful situation for students who want to complete their educational goals within a certain time frame.

“I already felt the effect of it this past semester,” said student Abigail Rodriguez, who is planning to take physics over the summer.

Although she had a priority registration date this spring, she did not get into a class in which she tried to enroll.

Rodriguez is somewhat worried that she may have to stay an extra year before transferring out if cutbacks in class offerings continue.

She is planning to attend Los Angeles Valley College and PCC in the fall, while still attending GCC, in order to complete the classes necessary for her educational goals.

Even with fewer classes and only one session, other students are simply looking for ways to deal with the current situation.

Student Christina Eltrevoog is not too worried about continuing her educational pursuits and is more focused on making the best out of the situation.

“Instead of just complaining about it, what can I do…about it?” she said. “How can I still pursue my academic goals within these constraints?

“I’m going to do what I can with [these] circumstances.

Prior to enrolling here Eltrevoog set out to participate in the Scholar’s Program. Aside from adding positively to her transcript and giving her an advantage when she transfers, being in the program also allows her to have an earlier priority registration date.

“It’s not impossible for me to get a degree in this way,” she said.

Students can now check priority registration dates by accessing the student center through the MyGCC web portal. Priority registration will take place from May 17 through May 25. Open registration will be from May 26 to June 20.

The campus will be open from Monday through Thursday throughout the summer, but will be closed on Fridays.

The summer 2010 session will run from June 21 through July 29. Five-week classes end on July 22.


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