With the number of classes being reduced due to California’s budget cuts, many ARC students are forced to commute to sister campuses to complete a full schedule, incurring time conflict and costly expenses.
According to PPCI (Public Policy Institute of California), recent evidence suggests that not only are community colleges serving fewer students, but also providing fewer services to students who are already enrolled.
Finding classes at community colleges has proven difficult for those who register late and ARC is no exception.
Many students who register early encounter similar issues and are forced to commute to other Los Rios campuses. This has created time conflicts and tedious routines for some.
Mason Pigman, a student at both Sierra College and ARC, registered early for his classes at Sierra before the start of summer only to discover he had failed to attain a full schedule at the beginning of the semester as some of his classes had become unavailable.
Acting quickly, he registered at ARC and was able to enroll in the remaining classes he needed. This, however, is something he regrets.
“I would much rather go to one campus than have to go different places every day,” said Pigman. “But I want to be able to transfer as quickly as possible which is why I made the sacrifice to take classes wherever I could.”
As highlighted by the article in the LA Times “A Dash for Classes”, over two decades, the percentage of commuting students has more than doubled from about 2.2 percent in 1992 to about 5.2 percent in 2011.
In 2012, about 69,665 students attended two schools. Nearly 5,000 of them went to three schools and about 400 to four or five schools, according to data from the California Community Colleges chancellor’s office.
Shannell Tanjutco, a third semester student at ARC, admitted that driving to different campuses can be tough, even this early in the semester.
“I would rather take fewer classes and go to just one campus,” Tanjutco said. “I do not like dealing with traffic. It is already taking time away from my studying and other things.”
One student who was lucky enough to attend only one location this semester is ARC freshman Steven Tavenner. He took a year off school but did not find it hard to register for the classes he wanted at the main campus this semester.
“I ride my long board to school, go to all my classes and just ride back home,” said Tavenner. “I am not spending any gas and I am able to stay in one location every single day. It’s great.”