Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Campus budget decreased due to lack of enrollment

Carlos Martinez and Carmelita Islas Mendez

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Cerritos College faculty and staff members held a meeting about the adopted budget for the 2017-2018 academic year on Aug. 29.

The current situation of the budget is the decrease of numbers of full-time students (FTS) enrolling in the programs the college has to offer.

Vice President of Business Services Felipe Lopez urged that an increase of enrollment management is necessary in order to keep the budget consistent.

“Enrollment is the driving force of the budget,” Lopez said. “It’s overly critical that we try to maintain our FTS as high as we can.”

He also stated that if FTS does not reach the goal of 16,800 by the end of this academic year, it can cause a major impact towards the budget in the following years.

According to Lopez, Cerritos College’s budget is mostly assigned to benefits and salaries. The state’s average for salaries and benefits is 87 percent, however Cerritos is 91.2 percent, which is above the state average.

However, this allocation leaves very little room for other situations that may arise.

Lopez also stated that for every 200 FTS decrease, it will cost the college roughly $1.5 million of state apportionment.

In the previous year, Cerritos College has implemented a temporary hiring freeze for management and confidential positions. The measure managed to provide $1 million one-time cost savings.

“We can’t continue to do that year after year,” Lopez said. “At some point we need to evaluate positions and make sure that were adequately staffed and not overly-staffed in other areas; that’s assuming that we cannot grow in FTS,”Lopez said.

California will give the college three years to recover from the student deficit. If after the three year period, the college shows no sign of recovery, the amount of funding is readjusted to suit the new school attendance.

Lopez estimated that about 70 percent of students are part-time students.

Ariel De Los Santos, ASCC treasurer, expressed her concern for future classes as the dwindling numbers may affect aid and support in the future.

“We do try to be concerned about things that would affect the student body as a whole, not just us personally. As ASCC, we try to see what would benefit the student.”

Cerritos College is currently developing methods to increase FTS such as increasing outreach, emphasizing dual enrollment, and increasing the amount of advertisement of the programs available in social media platforms, mailing catalogs, and television and radio.

In addition, Cerritos College has developed a partnership with La Mirada High School and will try to establish relationships with local schools.

The new partnership is expected to increase the FTS to reach the goal of 16,800. Numbers are expected to increase around September when the 9 week session starts.

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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.
Campus budget decreased due to lack of enrollment