CBC eyes summer semester for cuts

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The budget setbacks all over the district are forcing the CBC to take some serious looks at areas to cut, and one of those areas may be the summer semester.

According to Victoria Morrow, President of Skyline College, the college has to come up with $1.282 million in cuts. Reducing the classes available during the summer semester, Morrow says, would be a substantial step towards achieving that goal.

The summer semester offers two five-week segments back-to-back, and six, seven, and eight week segments that start at various pints into the semester. The cuts recommended by the CBC would eliminate the five-week segments entirely, and scale back what’s offered in the other segments.

All of the measures the CBC considered are judged according to several criteria, including potential negative impact to students and the ability to restore the program should the budget situation loosen.

“[Many] of the students the come to Skyline for the summer are not the same as our Spring and Fall students,” Morrow explained. “So you don’t see as many students impacted.”

Lori Adrian, Vice President of Student Services, also mentioned this. “In the summer semester you see many more ‘reverse transfer’ students,” Adrian said. “Students from the UCs and CSUs are home on vacation for the summer, and some of them wish to take classes at Skyline. Cutting classes in the summer semester is bad for them, but it has less of an impact on the main student body.”

Morrow also touched on Skyline’s ability to easily re-implement summer classes as another reason that they were being considered for cuts. “If, somewhere down the line, we’re in a situation where we’re in less of a crunch, we can start to bring some of these back,” Morrow said.

Adrian believes that the potential reduction in classes will change the way students register, as well. Among other things, she spoke about students’ tendency to “shop” for classes and have multiple options prepared when they determine what classes they want.

“Shopping” for classes, according to Adrian, is a term coined for students who sign up or wait list themselves for multiple instances of the same class, but with different time slots or teachers so they can figure out which one they like best. Practices like this are useful to the individual, but quickly fill classes that other students might be more serious about taking.

“Hopefully students will be considerate of others and not do this now that less classes could be available,” Adrian said. She also mentioned that it is good practice to have several “choices” of classes for a given time slot, so that if you don’t get into your first choice you can easily try for your second or third rather than having to rifle through the catalog again.

“These are difficult times,” Adrian said. “Students have to make their own adjustments.” Although the summer classes would be a significant step towards reaching the necessary cut, it is definitely not the only thing being considered.

Skyline is also considering eliminating programs that cost a lot of money but do not help a significant percentage of students, such as the Child Development Center. They are also considering reducing the hourly counseling (part-time counselors) during the summer semester, as well as possibly next year.

“At this point it’s not about making a painful decision or not,” Morrow said. “It’s about which painful decision to make. We’re trying to find the ones that are the least negative.”

Despite the tough decisions, the Skyline faculty is trying to remain positive and do as much as they can to continue providing as many services as possible for the students.

“I think Skyline College really takes to heart the students’ first philosophy,” Adrian said. “Limiting access is a difficult idea to come to terms with… but at the same time you want to make sure that students have access to the classes they need and we’re not closing the doors.”

The CBC meetings are open to all who wish to sit in. The next meeting will be held on 11/19 in room 5131. Subsequent meetings are on 12/3 in rm. 1319, 12/10 in rm. 5131, and 12/17 in rm. 5131. All meetings are held between 2:10 pm and 4:00 pm.