A special twelve-week intersession to help students whose classes were cancelled a week before the semester began was announced at the Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 22.
Dubbed “Spring Forward” this special session will be offered for students affected by the budget cuts, said Vice President of Instruction Robert Bell. His office will try to contact every displaced student to offer them classes they need.
“I’m convinced that if we do this more strategically that it’s not a matter of having enough classes, it’s a matter of having the correct classes in place,” Bell said. “My sense is this will be a good step [toward solving] the problem.”
The Spring Forward session will start March 26 or April 2 and will be available to the 428 students affect by the cuts Bell said.
Bell also said he will be drafting a letter that will be offered to student to send to prospective universities if the transferring process was disrupted by the class cuts. All students affected by the cuts are asked to contact the Associated Students for help.
PCC President Dr. Mark Rocha proposed a list of eight actions the school will be taking to help prevent further cuts to classes, and lessen the impact of the state budget crisis.
Among these is the creation of a Graduation Fund based on the goals of the Student Success Task Force and PCC’s Education Master Plan, to pay for additional classes. Rocha and other administrators have already offered donations for the graduation fund, and he is encouraging other faculty to donate.
Rocha also announced that no funds will be spent on construction of new buildings on campus, and the U Building will be closed and fenced off. Other actions include the release of 25 full time faculty from teaching entirely to perform other duties for the college, and the closing of campus over spring break.
Rocha noted that the Board of Trustee had spent of $13 million out of PCC’s reserves over the past five years in order to fund additional classes. This spending bypassed the state funding cap for Full Time Equivalent Students (FTES) he said.
“When cuts come down suddenly, there is real pain…the main thing is that we are not closed,” Rocha said at a news conference before the Board of Trustees meeting. “These are serious cuts, buts it’s not the world coming to an end.”