Opinion: Budget Cutbacks Hurt Students

by Cougar News Staff 352 views0

By Chloe Kwock – Cougar News Contributor

The entire country has been suffering from huge budget deficits and the sinking economy has affected most aspects of college life. College of the Canyons is a perfect example of an educational institution that has had to make sizable budget cuts within the past couple years.

A local news source said, “At College of the Canyons, the cuts ran as deep as $11 million.” $11 million is an unthinkable amount of money and almost every department had to make significant cutbacks. At least 20 percent of summer classes have decreased since 2008 and core general education courses had priority in how many classes were offered. The course catalogs were thinner and a noticeable amount of classes had been eliminated or were severely decreased.

This was an unfortunate occurrence for those high school students trying to get ahead in their college units or who need to make up high school credits because the college students get priority in registration, making it unlikely that any high school students are added to the classes. The college has seen over 1,500 high school students trying to attend summer classes because of William S. Hart Union High School District’s recent cutbacks. A contributor from The Signal said, “We put over 600 people in classes and well over 1,000 on wait lists.” The college is very popular but it is unfortunate that only a certain percentage of students can complete college courses over the two-month period.

College of the Canyon’s budget cuts have extremely affected the regular school year as well. Many departments have made substantial cuts and many have even had to sacrifice some courses all together. Multiple courses that have been offered in the past have been eliminated, hopefully temporarily. Less class sections are available making most already popular classes extremely over populated.

Most students who attend College of the Canyons have experienced an overfilled classroom with students sitting along the wall or on the floor. A couple of years ago, most classes had enough room to accommodate all students on the roster plus most who would have liked to add last minute. Now, a class would be lucky to accommodate even one extra student.

Attending College of the Canyons is always going to be a wise choice to complete general education courses, but it just might take the average student a little longer to complete their transferable units considering the courses they need might not be offered or minimal. Essentially many students are losing opportunities to complete their courses creating a domino effect.   Less classes are offered meaning some COC students can not get into the classes they need and high school students do not stand a chance.

Obviously, the administration is trying to make the budget cuts as painless as possible for students. The truth is, it will affect everybody and every department is going to suffer cutbacks. A College of the Canyons administrator said to a local reporter, “We’ll do everything we can, but the magnitude of the cuts really ties our hands in many ways.” Colleges have been affected around the country and many schools, especially in California, have made cuts in educational departments, athletics, clubs and more. I believe this country will find a way out of its economic struggle and our school will redeem what it once had.