The number of summer classes offered by community colleges in the Los Angeles area has shrunk by two-thirds in the past four years, according to a new survey by .
Released Monday by administrators, the survey shows 15 area colleges—Santa Monica College included—this year will offer one-third of the courses they did in 2008, when the state began slashing budgets.
"From 'bad' to 'very bad' is the conclusion," said campus media officer Bruce Smith.
The research was initiated by college Superintendent Chui Tsang after the Board of Trustees voted to postpone implementation of its according to Don Girard, Senior Director of Government Relations and Institutional Communications.
"The report doesn’t say it, but winter will be more restrictive than summer," he said.
Santa Monica's plan, dubbed by critics as the "two-tiered system," would have had students paying $540 for some courses, more than three times the amount California residents currently pay with state tuition.
Fifty additional classes were to be rolled out in a pilot program this summer in an attempt to continue offering necessary core classes that would otherwise not be held due to the state budget cuts. The board of trustees on April 6 voted to postpone implementing the two-tiered system under pressure from the Community Colleges chancellor's office and from student and faculty opposition groups,
"In order to have that discussion, we should have the answer to the questions, 'what is the problem we're trying to solve?' [and] 'what are the alternatives?'" said Girard.
Trustees said the delay would give them time to further vet the plan with student and faculty groups, and to weigh its options. The survey found eight alternatives, including severely reducing faculty pay, launching a private fundraising campaign and prioritizing enrollment for more advanced students.
Even without the second tier of higher priced classes, of the 15 colleges surveyed, Santa Monica will offer the most sections this summer, 745, followed by East Los Angeles College with 349 sections.
Credit programs, offering students the classes needed to make progress on certificates, degrees, and transfers, are cancelled at six area community colleges, L.A. City, L.A. Harbor, L.A. Mission, L.A. Southwest, L.A. Valley, West L.A.). Fewer than 50 sections will be offered at two others, L.A Pierce and L.A. Trade Tech.
A few nursing classes for credit are being offered at L.A. City and West L.A. The program at Long Beach is reduced by one-half compared to last year and the program at East LA reduced by one-third.
The programs at Compton, El Camino, Glendale, Pasadena, and Santa Monica are roughly the same as last year, but reduced significantly from prior years.
Girard said information contained in the survey will help guide discussions on campus about how and if to move forward with the self-funded model.
Now, "we all have common information," he said.