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California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools

Calif. Community Colleges Note a Positive Trend: More Summer Courses

05/21/2013

THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION.  MAY 16, 2013.  Many of California’s community colleges are planning to expand their course offerings this summer, according to a news release from the office of the system’s chancellor—a positive trend after years of budget cuts that forced campuses to scale back or even eliminate their summer sessions.

The chancellor’s office polled the 112 colleges in the system and found that, of the 70 respondents, 67 percent said they planned to offer more courses this summer than they did last year, 23 percent said they would offer about the same number of classes, and 10 percent planned to decrease summer course offerings.

The release said the turnaround was due in large part to the passage of Proposition 30 in November. “The voters of California made a wise investment in public higher education at the polls last year,” the chancellor, Brice W. Harris, said, “and we are working diligently to satisfy pent-up demand from students who are eager to learn.” He cautioned, however, that it will take years for the community-college system to make up for the $1.5-billion in cuts it had to absorb over the previous five years.

In a report released in March, the Public Policy Institute of California said that cuts in state support from 2007 to 2012 had caused community-college enrollments to plunge to a 20-year low.