Community College Enrollment Lowest in Two Decades in Calif.

Lauren Williams's picture

College of the Redwoods officials say cutting courses in some programs may help boost student enrollment overall at the local campus, despite findings in a new report released this week that enrollment rates in California's community colleges have plunged as cash-strapped campuses ax classes and instructors.

A Public Policy Institute of California report released Monday states that with the number of course sections down systemwide by as much as 20 percent since 2008, enrollment rates have hit their lowest point in two decades. The programs hardest hit include music, dance, education and business, the report states.

Earlier this month, CR officials announced reductions to course offerings in a number of programs -- including music, construction technology, anthropology and foreign languages. Faculty resources from those areas will be redirected to core-curriculum areas, or gateway courses, for the 2013 summer and fall semesters, CR spokesman Paul DeMark said.

Gateway courses -- which include speech, math and biology -- are often the first to fill up because students are required to take them, DeMark said.

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