Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Students need to get in and get out

California’s community college students are getting in their own way.

Studies show we spend an average of six years experimenting with coursework that should ideally take two years to complete, and we are allowed to repeat courses we’ve failed up to three times at Cerritos College, all on the state’s dime.

A report published by the vice chancellor of California’s community colleges shows that, in 2009-10 alone, 52,000 students repeated the same physical education course they had completed in a prior term, while 20,000 other students repeated fine arts courses with an activity section.

In the meantime, community colleges cited budget woes and a decrease in course offerings as the main offenders in a dip in enrollment.

While Joe Schmo was re-enrolling in Beginning Weightlifting on taxpayer dollars, an estimated 133,000 prospective freshmen were unable to attend their first semester of community college.

Joe Schmo could have had a legitimate reason for buffing up a second semester, but the real culprits responsible for shutting out prospective students are the ones that won’t fly the coop.

Taking time to “find yourself” in college should not be a disguise for failing and re-taking general education courses—you know, the ones that “count”—as schools struggle to maintain enough open seats for the next generation of the state’s workforce.

Even if students decide to take a few extra classes outside of their declared area of study, they need to adopt a “get-in, get-out” mentality and community colleges need to crack the whip.

These reports show that colleges have singled out the slackers and tallied up the numbers. The results are in: students procrastinate.

It’s time for colleges to tell us something we don’t know, like how many units we need in order to transfer or complete an associate degree if we don’t fail that next class.

Require us to meet with a counselor, or major adviser, every semester as is required at universities.

Do more than throw us at the back of the enrollment line once we’ve accumulated 90 units.

We know you care, and we know you have a responsibility to all students who show up at your doorstep, but you need to offer your continuing students more guidance if you’d like to make room for the next batch of eager pupils.

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Rebeca Vega, Staff Writer
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Students need to get in and get out