California community colleges to adopt new enrollment priorities

Sergio Portela and Sergio Portela

California community college students who sustain good academic standards now have priority over students who are at or exceed 100 units. This comes after a unanimous vote by the California Community College Board of Governors to reward students who make progress towards their educational goals.

If students have intentions on graduating with an Associate’s Degree or transferring to a four-year University, it puts them near the top of priority behind Disabled Students Programs and Services, active military and veterans, former foster youths and athletes.

The regulations were voted on at San Diego Community College and will start in the spring of 2014. The colleges will inform their students in the fall of 2013, according to a press release from the California Community Colleges.

The purpose of the new regulations is to ease students out of community colleges to reach their goals. New students have been held on waitlists due to them being new and fresh out of high school. It will now be set up so that if a new student passes his or her assessment test and continues to maintain good grades during their tenure in community college, the student will receive help to get to his or her goals as soon as possible. Doing so would push the students still in school with 100 or more units to lower priority and on waitlists.

The 72 California Community College districts can adopt policies that would exempt students who have 100 units, like those in high-unit major and programs. They will also adopt an appeals policy for those students affected by losing priority, which goes beyond their control.

“In the past, community colleges have been able to serve everyone, and students could accrue a large number of units or do poorly in all of their courses and still receive priority registration” said Chancellor Jack Scott from a press release. “Now that colleges have had to cut back on the courses they can offer, those students were taking up seats in classrooms and crowding out newer students focused on job training, degree attainment or transfer. Our Student Success Task Force identified this as a major barrier and recommended these changes.”