California Community Colleges in Deep Trouble, New Statistics Show

Barry Lenson

California Community Colleges in Deep Trouble

California Community Colleges in Deep TroubleA study released last week by Jack Scott, the Chancellor of California’s community college system, contains some shocking data. Here are some of the statistics that The Chronicle of Higher Education recently excerpted from the report. They tell us a lot about the troubling state of affairs for community college students and their schools in the state:

  • More than 472,000 of the 2.4 million students in the California Community Colleges system have been put on waiting lists for classes the want to take this term.
  • Of the 78 colleges that took part in the study (there are 116 community colleges in the state), 70.5% reported that their enrollments had dropped since the 2011-12 academic year; in contrast, only 20% reported enrollment increases.
  • 79.5% of the colleges reported that their students are faced with waiting lists for the classes that they want to take during the coming semester.
  • 87.2% cut their staffs between the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years.
  • 75% of adjunct faculty members were cut in that same period.
  • 68% of schools have reduced or eliminated student services for the coming year.

Maybe those statistics shouldn’t surprise us because $809 million has been cut from California’s community college budget over the last three years alone.  But if current trends continue, Scott foresees a future in which, “we don't have the educated work force that we desperately need for economic vitality in California.”

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