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Future looks dim for RCC freshmen

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By Jennifer Sandy / Staff Writer

Searching for a education (Edward Diaz / Asst. photo editor )

By Jennifer Sandy / Staff Writer

Each fall semester, the Riverside Community College District has approximately 9,600 freshmen enroll in college courses for the first time.

Roughly 4,700 of these freshmen belong to the Riverside City College campus alone.     

Although current budget cuts for the fall semester are still being deliberated at the statewide level, according to Chancellor Gregory Gray, state Chancellor Jack Scott has indicated that if an “all cuts” budget is adopted, nearly 400,000 students will be shut out of community college classes across the state of California.

“Without question the cuts are dramatic, and the result is many students will be unable to register in the fall,” Gray said in an e-mail.

RCC students said they would be upset if classroom cuts continue.

“I don’t sit personally on the finance committee or the student government, but I hear a lot of bull that goes on,” Sarah Carreres said. “And the thing is people just aren’t educated the way they’re supposed to be.”

RCCD has 13 educational administrators, while most other community college districts only have three.

“I can’t speak for the district,” said RCC President Cynthia Azari. “But it all depends on the number of colleges you have. There’s a report called IPEG, it’s not out yet, but it does a comparison of college by college, but because we’re such a new district, when I looked at last year’s data it was by district, not by college. So hopefully this year it will show with three colleges and how we compare to other colleges across the country.”

Azari also said that the cuts have had at least one positive effect on students. She says over the last few years she has seen a decrease in students dropping classes because if they do, they might not be able to get that class again for another few semesters.

Even still, because of the difficulty getting classes, more budget cuts means it will take even longer for students to obtain  an associate’s degree.

“We really focus on student success,” Azari said. “With our tutoring, and our counseling and all the student support services that we have, our faculty and our staff really want to focus on student success.”

Gray said that faculty and students alike are concerned with making their voices heard.

“I understand that freshmen will have a difficult time getting classes,” he said. “However, classes will be available and students need to see a counselor as soon as possible in order to understand the academic schedule and courses that are available both now and in the future.”

He said his best advice is to wage an e-mail campaign and send it to local state legislators such as Brian Nestande, Paul Cook, Kevin Jeffries, Jeff Miller, Mike Morrell and senators Bob Dutton and Bill Emmerson.

To e-mail said government officials please visit http://www.ca.gov.

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