Napa Valley College plans more sections for summer, fall sessions

2013-02-24T16:17:00Z 2013-02-24T16:24:33Z Napa Valley College plans more sections for summer, fall sessionsISABELLE DILLS Napa Valley Register
February 24, 2013 4:17 pm  • 

Napa Valley College plans to offer 120 course sections this summer — about triple the number from last year — thanks to the passage of Proposition 30. The college also plans to add 50 sections to its fall schedule, although there will still be far fewer than what the college offered before the financial crisis.

Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown announced that the state can start increasing funding for education, thanks to the passage of Proposition 30, a tax measure approved by the voters on Nov. 6.

Over the past four years, Napa Valley College has lost approximately $5 million in funding, and cutting sections of courses has been among many of the cost-saving measures.

As a result of the cuts, more students have found themselves on waitlists for classes, and those who registered late sometimes haven’t gotten into any classes at all.

The past couple of years have been especially difficult. In fall 2012, the college offered approximately 84 fewer sections than it did in fall 2011, which already had 150 fewer sections than years before.

The priority for the college, as it adds more classes this summer and fall, is to meet the needs of students seeking transfers or degrees, Interim College President Ron Kraft said.

Courses will be added in English, math, science, social science, physical education, art and career education, Kraft said.

“Although we may not be able to meet all the demand, students will more easily be able to enroll in the classes they need,” he said. “This will contribute to student satisfaction and success.”

This summer, approximately 3,100 students are projected to enroll — up from 1,150 enrolled in summer 2012, according to Kraft.

The per-credit course fee, which is set by the state, will likely remain at an all-time high of $46. The fee was $26 just over a year ago.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget for 2013-14 provides nearly $200 million more to the California community college system, allowing colleges to add back thousands of classes, according to a news release from the state chancellor’s office.

“Governor Brown’s leadership in passing Proposition 30 means California community colleges can begin to make room for some of the hundreds of thousands of students who have been shut out of our system due to recent funding cuts,” California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris said in the news release.

“This budget represents a good start toward financial recovery for our system. The governor and voters deserve credit for beginning this overdue reinvestment.”

Since 2008-09, the California Community Colleges system has been cut by $809 million, or 12 percent, and total enrollment has gone down by 300,000 students at a time of increased demand, according to the chancellor’s office.

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