SMC Is Boiling Over
It's clear to see that this semester SMC is swarming with more students than ever before.
"We are currently at around 33,000 overall students. That represents over 2,000 more students than we had last spring," Jeff Shimizu, vice president of academic affairs, said. He says the increase is due to higher fees at all state funded universities, higher unemployment, and aggressive reductions from other community colleges.
The increase will affect SMC with robust enrollment rates and a demand for open seats.
Enrollment is so high this semester that SMC has reached a limit on the amount of students it can enroll to receive the maximum state funding.
"Basically the limitation the state has set on the number of full-time equivalent students (FTES) for which each community college district will be funded in a given year," Randal Lawson, Executive Vice President of SMC, said.
If a college accepts more students than this limit, it will not receive funding to support the extra students.
Dr. Chui Tsang, President of SMC, says the school has reached the state funding cap this semester and the school has dipped into the reserve pool to balance the budget.
He says that although SMC is not receiving funds for the excess amount of students, the school is still encouraging students to enroll in classes and has not closed enrollment. He says because of lost jobs, it is a wise time for students to invest in their education.
"As long as there are spaces available in already scheduled classes, SMC continues to accept student enrollments,"Lawson said..
There are no fee increases for students beyond the state regulated amounts.
Although the school is accepting new student enrollments it is not creating more class sections because SMC has reached the funding cap limit, Lawson said.
"We have directed students to open classes in the afternoon, evening and weekend time slots. In addition we have counseled students not to 'shop and drop' their classes," said. Shimizu.
For students eager to secure a class in semesters to come, it is best to enroll before the deadline, and don't drop while you shop classes.