Winter Session Barely Salvaged From Budget Axe

Agnes Constante

The college is offering classes to students this winter despite the budget shortages it currently faces.

Classes offered this intersession have been cut by 30 percent compared to those offered last winter.

According to acting vice president of Instructional Services Mary Mirch, a 30 to 50 percent reduction in winter courses at the college was initially was considered.
Ron Nakasone, interim vice president of administrative services said, “Originally we were thinking about cutting winter intersession altogether to address some of the budget cuts that the college was experiencing.

“But what changed our mind was that we wanted to be able to minimize the impact of our budget cuts on students.”

Mirch said that the college is trying to meet as many student needs as possible by being attentive to the courses being offered.
Courses provided this winter are those that the college felt best suited students’ needs. Guidelines used in scheduling courses include those that would satisfy general education, transfer and certificate completion.

In choosing which classes to offer, factors the division chairs took into consideration included how many and which students could be served.

“One of the things I know one of the division chairs did is that it was a decision between [one] class or [another] class that they’d offer, and they could serve more students by doing the first class,” Mirch said.

Division chairs made decisions in the courses that would be presented during the winter, and each division made cuts differently.

“In some divisions, they felt that they needed to provide maybe the same number of a particular course, and other areas they did decide they needed to provide different courses . in some cases sections were cut, in some cases courses were cut,” Mirch said.
With rumors that the college would not offer an intersession, kinesiology major Matthew Zari was afraid his plans to transfer out would be delayed.

“I thought that was going to set me back a year or maybe another semester that I’d have to [take more classes in] spring,” he said.
In spite of reduced class offerings, Zari said, “Now that they haven’t [cut the intersession] I’m pretty happy.”
Zari plans to take Mass Communications 101 and Psychology 101.

Mirch advised students who plan to take classes this intersession to register on time and to take advantage of priority registration.

“Showing up the first day of class is probably not going to be the best way to get a class,” she said.

Though funding from the state is based on enrollment, the state has limited the amount of enrollment it will fund the college.
“Simply because we can add 50 more classes, doesn’t mean we’re going to get paid by the state,” said Nakasone.

In the 2008-2009 school year, the college had 2,400 full-time equivalent students for which the college did not receive funding.
The college is hoping to save $600,000 by reducing class offerings this winter.
The campus is looking to go on a 40-hour work week. It will be closed on Fridays with the exception of select classes.

The 2010 winter intersession will run from Jan. 4 to Feb. 11.