Deferment Overcrowds Classes

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El Vaquero Staff Writer

Those who do not register for classes until the last minute should take into consideration the deferment of thousands of university students to community colleges. UC and CSU students will be filling up classes at GCC. These are the consequences of the 7,000 dual admission letters sent to freshmen accepted to universities statewide.

It all started with the state trying to save money by cutting 10 percent from the budget of the CSUs and UCs. GCC Vice-President of Instructional Services Steve White said these schools are now redirecting students to get the legislature’s attention and get funding back from the state. “They are using all these students as pawns,” he said.

Not all incoming freshmen are being deferred, however. White said that his guess on the situation is that students who are barely making the cut are the ones being redirected.

Seven thousand letters were sent out, which means, considering that students applied to more than one school, there are close to 3,500 deferred students, White said. UCs refer to these students as GTOs, which means they are guaranteed transfer option to a UC. The GTOs can enroll in one of California’s 108 community colleges where they will complete their transfer requirements. “Only about 20 percent of students will follow through,” White said. This significantly reduces the load of dual admission students community colleges will have to take on.

Community colleges are now presented with a dilemma. “Are we to accept the burden of offering all the extra counseling to UC students? We aren’ t given time to prepare ourselves,” said History Professor Peggy Renner.

“If UC students come and fill the classes at GCC, some of our students will get left out,” Renner said. According to White, GCC “will not give them [dual admission students] any special treatment.”

White said that he is not worried about the possibility of UC or CSU students filling up classes at GCC next year. “Only 20 UC students are coming to GCC next fall. What will the long-term consequences be? We don’t know,” White said. Community colleges will not get any additional funding for dual admission students.

Dual admission is designed to shift some of the burden to community colleges because the state wants to save money. Do they tell us how they choose these students? No, Renner said. Regardless of their reasoning, “these are decisions that students should be making, not the state.”