Education

First day frustration at Fresno City College

Monday, August 15, 2011

19 thousand students are enrolled at Fresno City College for the fall. But, many of them can't get the classes they need.

The first day is always crowded. And while enrollment is actually down this year, getting into classes is actually much more difficult, because budget cuts have left students with fewer options.

Fresno City College was full of long lines, crowded classrooms and plenty of frustration Monday.

Paul Vawter said, "We've been to at least 10 classes in the last 20 minutes, like we're just running around from class to class."

Samuel Diaz and Paul Vawter are third-year students. But, their veteran status hasn't given them a leg up.

"I was lucky to get maybe two classes," said Samuel Diaz. "And we're still trying to get three classes just to keep up to finish AA."

Interim President, Tony Cantu says less funding from the state equals fewer classes. Enrollment is also down 14% because the school doesn't have the room.

"So, it's competition," said Tony Cantu. "I think the different systems are competing for limited resources and students are competing for a limited seats."

Cantu says students who registered early, and paid their fees on time were given priority status. But, making those payments has become much more challenging. Tuition has increased from $26.00 to $36.00 per unit. Not to mention, the price students pay for books.

"It's really hard right now, I mean especially if we don't have good job, like good income," said Maclovia Vaca. "It's really hard."

But students can find some encouraging changes on campus. Construction on the old administration building is coming along, making more classrooms available. And administrators say they're putting more focus on making sure students will finish their tenure at City College in a reasonable amount of time.

Samuel Diaz said, "It's pretty stressful, pretty stressful, but it will be worth it in the long run I believe so."

Parking has also been a challenge for students, which is nothing new. Officials say one option for people who drive is to park at Ratcliff Stadium. From there, a shuttle to and from campus is available.

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fresno city college, education, shannon handy
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