The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

First week of classes proves difficult for most students

Pat Bustos had a frustrating first day of the semester.

He got into a psychology class, just barely. However, the statistics class he must re-take to transfer was closed.

The fifth-semester psychology major may need to put his transfer plan on hold for another year.

“That was the class I needed,” he said.

Ida Nazin, who pays $201 a unit as an out-of-state student was one of 19 others trying to add into a History 121 class.

“There is a shortage of seats,” the kinesiology major said. “That’s affecting students like me, because I’m paying 20 times more.”

Bustos and Nazin were among the hundreds of students swarming the hallways the first week of the spring 2010 semesters, hoping to add into already overflowing classes and finding dozens of others already lined up at classroom doors.

The reason?

DVC cut 5 percent of its spring and summer schedule of classes – a total of 95 sections – to save approximately $500,000 towards $2.3 million of red ink in this year’s budget because of the statewide budget crisis.

As a result, the average class size is 32.4 students – a 6.3 percent increase over spring semester 2009.

“This is a record high number compared to the historical averages of the past five years,” Mohamed Eisa, dean of planning, research and student outcomes, wrote in an enrollment report this week.

Eisa said more students are enrolled in a smaller number of sections, thus boosting the average class size.

Classes across campus are filled to the 88.2 percent mark — a 20 percent hike from one year ago, according to Eisa’s report.

“In summary, current data suggests a difficult enrollment quandary for many students who are still struggling to complete their enrollment at this time.”

DVC President Judy Walters said some faculty members have allowed students into their classes, despite being at maximum enrollment.

“We are operating at the highest capacity possible, and that means additional work load for faculty, support staff, and managers,” Walters said. “We are operating as an organization whose focus is on students.”

Susan Lamb, vice president of instruction, said the highest demand classes for the semester were in the sciences, math, and English departments.

“The transfer office wanted to protect transfer, basic skills, and CTE [Career Technical Education] courses,” Lamb said. “We are trying to have the least impact on students by cutting more of the classes that are not transferable.”

English professor Adam Bessie was one of many instructors who turned away up to five times the number of students already on their waitlists and still hoping to enroll. On the first day, 25 students were inside the classroom; another 25 were waiting to add.

“It was literally two classes in one room,” Bessie said. “I had to ask the other class – those trying to add – to wait outside while I took roll.”


Lina Pervez contributed to this story

Contact Nick Sestanovich at [email protected]

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Nick Sestanovich, Staff member
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First week of classes proves difficult for most students