California colleges cut summer classes

Nearly two-thirds of California community college districts have cut summer classes by 50 percent or more, reports the Los Angeles Times.

“This will be the most severe summer we’ve faced in terms of course offerings,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott. “We have many four-year students who come back home and want to pick up a course or two in the summer and they can’t. There are a lot of individuals out of work who would like to have some training in the summer and can’t. We have great demand but inadequate supply.”

“It’s a great tragedy in California that we are delaying education for students because they can’t get the classes they need,” Scott said.

Mt. San Jacinto College in Riverside County, which offered 97 for-credit classes last summer, is down to eight this summer.

William Diaz, a community-college chemistry major, couldn’t get into a prerequisite chemistry class at any of the Los Angeles community college district’s nine campuses.  Without the class, he’ll have to wait an extra year to transfer to Cal State Northridge.

Even though the seven-hour class with a lab session at East Los Angeles City College is full and makes for a difficult commute from his home in South Los Angeles, he plan to show up on July 5, the first day.

“I know there’s got to be some students who will drop, so I’ve come up with a whole plan to bring my own seat, like a beach chair, and just sit there and talk to the teacher. It’s an important class, and I feel like I’m fighting against the clock,” said Diaz, 22, who has a 3-year-old son and works as a teaching assistant at the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, a high school in downtown Los Angeles.

Students who fear more tuition hikes are trying to complete as much coursework as possible.