Local News

Feb 3, 2010 9:37 PM by Ariel Wesler

Cuesta College cuts could flood Hancock College summer enrollment

Hancock College may have its hands full this summer after Cuesta College announced it's eliminating most of its summer courses.

Cuesta says it had to cut the classes due to a lack of funding. Many of those students may look to attend Hancock College instead. That would create more competition for fewer summer openings.

Hancock College's budget deficit is already in the millions.

Registration lines at Hancock College in Santa Maria might be a bit longer this summer.

"Last summer, I didn't get the class I wanted and I registered the first possible day," said Abigail Noll, who's majoring in sociology.

With Cuesta College eliminating the majority of its summer lineup, that could send thousands of students south to compete for 3,000 available spots.

"A lot of those students may come over here and that may bog the system down even more than it already is. If you don't get in early, you won't get in at all, said Aaron Zimmerman," who's studying business management.

He plans to take classes this summer and wants to transfer to Cal Poly.

"Register as soon as I possibly can and hope for the best," Zimmerman said.

If you don't get that class, how does that affect you?

"It might mean I don't get into Cal Poly as soon as I would have," Zimmerman said.

Hancock College cut summer enrollment by 34 percent last year. It increased summer enrollment this year, but is still down 16 percent from two years ago.

"We probably cut more than Cuesta did earlier or anticipate not growing as much later. So, it's all about managing of a year's worth of enrollment," said Public Affairs Director Rebecca Alarcio.

Since fewer classes are being offered, adminstrators have laid off 100 part time faculty members, but even all that's just the beginning of what's needed to fill a two million dollar deficit.

"We will be working with the college community to identify how we're going to bridge the gap," Alarcio said.

No matter what your major, that's no simple equation.

More students also means larger classes to accomodate them all. The average class size this spring is around 25 students. Last year, it was 21.

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