Summer School Moves Ahead -With Limits

Christine Gillette

All GCC students who have been pulling their hair out about the possibility of no summer session can now relax slightly. The summer session was voted on by the faculty guild last Friday morning and was officially approved.

Many students will read this and have a smile from cheek to cheek, but with those smiles give your professors a pat on the back. GCC was able to have a summer session this year because of the contract negotiation made Friday between the faculty and administration, which resulted in a 40 percent pay-cut during the summer session for the faculty.

Mary Mirch, vice president of Instruction, said that GCC is looking at offering about 60 percent of the classes offered in summer of 2010.

“The schedule is being built on general education classes, career and technical education (CTE), basic skills and noncredit,” Mirch said.

It was not a surprise that the bulk of the classes offered would be general education classes. This is helpful for the students who are sweating to take that one math class they need in order to transfer.

Mirch said that the administration is anticipating that students will be able find out their priority registration by May 9 and registration will begin May 23. Summer session will begin on June 20.

“We are all working very hard here to take care of our students,” Mirch said.

Due to the huge cut in the classes available for summer session, many students will suffer the same problem they experienced in winter and spring where classes were hard to get into. This session will be extremely difficult, so all students planning on taking a math or English class should prepare themselves for the possibility that they may not get their class.

To have a better chance of getting the classes you need, make sure to enroll for them all on your registration date. Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you miss your registration date by one day, you’ll still be able to get into each class.

If the class is closed, don’t lose hope. On the first day of the semester, make sure you show up and keep showing up to class. There will always be those students who decide they don’t want to take the class, which leaves room for you to take it. Sometimes persistence pays off.

If all else fails and you still weren’t able to get the class of your dreams, Kevin Meza, Transfer Center counselor, said that there are other options.

One option is to find out which other community colleges are offering a summer session and send in your application as soon as you can. Even though they may be offering summer classes priority would obviously go to the schools’ continuing students.

Another option, which is a bit more expensive, would be to enroll at a UC for the summer. All the UCs have open enrollment.

“[Students] can spend their summer up in Santa Barbara and take some classes there or maybe at UCLA,” Meza said. “The cost would be the factor, but maybe there’s a possibility for financial aid.”

If you’re planning on applying to neighboring community colleges for the summer, the sooner you send in your application the better. PCC has already confirmed that they will be having a summer semester.

As for a winter session this year, the decision has still not been made officially. The contract that was negotiated concerned both summer and winter session, but the official decision for winter cannot be made until the new fiscal year.

Gordon Alexandre, the chief negotiator, said that it all boils down to the budget. The decision for winter probably won’t be made until early fall and the pay-cut that was decided for summer will remain for winter session.

“The truth is, teachers are going to be working for peanuts,” Alexandre said. “But we do this to allow students to progress and to be able to transfer.”

For now, make sure that you let the administration and faculty know that you appreciate them because they are doing good things behind the curtain to benefit the students.