After our wonderful vacation, reality hit hard yesterday when I stepped into the Counseling Center at Irvine Valley College to do a day of academic counseling. (I've been a part timer there for almost fifteen years.) The Center was crowded with returning students, new students, anxious students, confused students, students needing help with summer classes, students needing help with fall classes, students in need of personal counseling, students trying to decipher financial aid forms, limited English speakers seeking ESL classes, and students ready to transfer who can't because the four-year schools are admitting significantly fewer students due to their own budget crises. To mention just a few of the scenarios. Our lobby was a madhouse all day. And no one had time to even try to answer questions coming in by phone and through our on-line counseling service. Greater need than ever, fewer staff hours than ever.
At Long Beach City College, my printmaking classes scheduled for fall have been full since May and the wait list of wishful students is longer than the list of enrolled students. The LBCC website already shows many more closed classes in all subjects than open classes for the fall. And it is only mid July.
Just two examples of how the California budget crisis is effecting education.