Summer workshops boost student success, preserve core courses in Fall/Spring
In response to the likelihood of severe budget cuts from the State, Mt. San Jacinto College is replacing its traditional summer schedule with a program designed to boost student success, reduce costs and preserve funding for the peak-demand semesters of Fall and Spring.
MSJConnect, starting June 6, is a not-for-credit program that uses funding from grants and other sources to offer no-cost workshops and fee-based seminars. Options will range from one-day to two-week sessions.
MSJConnect will offer sessions on topics such as Pre-Assessment Review, computer basics, math, English and study skills.
“Our number one institutional goal at Mt. San Jacinto College is to support student success,” said Dr. Dennis Anderson, Vice President of Instruction. “MSJConnect will align very well to that goal by providing a program that prepares students to succeed in credit courses.”
California’s community college system has been hit with state budget cuts for three consecutive years. As the state continues to try to close a $26.6 billion budget deficit, community colleges are facing between $400 million to $800 million in state funding cuts. In the worst case, Mt. San Jacinto College could lose more than $7 million in 2011-12.
Officials at MSJC have been monitoring the state budget discussions daily in order to carefully consider options that would least impact students. A state budget is not due to be adopted until June, but may come even later. The District and its students can no longer wait on a state budget deal, so MSJC has decided to announce the new summer programming now so that students can make their educational plans.
MSJC officials understand the difficulties the state budget is creating for students trying to reach their educational goals. The District has tried to buffer students from the drastic state cuts and has been educating thousands without receiving any state compensation for the last two years, but it cannot continue to do so. Providing a traditional summer program would mean sections would be cut in the Fall and Spring, when demand for classes is highest.
With programs like MSJConnect, students will be able to boost their success rates and the college will be able to preserve funding for core courses that lead to transfer or career certificates during Fall and Spring.
Information on MSJConnect is already available at www.msjc.edu/MSJCconnect . Schedules and more information will be available after May 1.
The program, created by MSJC’s Instructional Services Division and Continuing Education and Workplace Training Department, will save the District more than $250,000 compared to traditional, summer sessions with credit course offerings. The savings will be used to ensure students continue to receive the courses they need for transfer and certificate education during the high-demand Fall and Spring semesters.
“Participation in the seminars could raise a students’ math or English assessment score and save them a semester of classes by placing them in a higher-level class,” Dr. Anderson said.