New rules suggested for repeating courses
Published: Monday, May 28, 2012
Updated: Monday, May 28, 2012 14:05
A statewide proposal to restrict students from taking a course more than once after achieving a passing grade was proposed on May 7 by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.
“Essentially, if a student gets a passing grade, they cannot take the course again,” said Paige Marlatt Dorr, Director of Communications for the California Community Colleges’ Chancellor’s Office.
The change is a result of community colleges offering repetition of courses within the athletics, arts and music departments.
“(Eliminating course repetition) is designed so a student isn’t taking a public funded course for recreation,” Marlatt Dorr said. “The thought is that it will free up class seats.”
Instead of placing funds into classes with students taking them for the third or fourth time, Marlatt Dorr stated the community colleges can use it as an opportunity to see areas that need better funding to properly accommodate students’ academic needs.
For example, funds can be used in aligning an English department to offer more courses for transfer students.
“We’re finding community colleges are more popular than ever,” Marlatt Dorr said.
“We have unemployed students, veterans and students seeking a 2-year degree.”
Current policy allows students to take a class four times if a student fails or just wants to take it again. James Carranza, CSM academic senate president, said the new proposal would include withdraws as a repeating class, creating a problem for those in need of credits.
“In the past, withdraws didn’t count for repetition,” he said. “It’s an example of the state being more strict. They are just looking at transfer students.”
Focusing attention on transfer students, Carranza said, limits the ability for a student to grow at a community college.
“It would be reducing the budget by limiting student opportunity,” he said. “It’s another way the state is trying to cut corners without understanding the academic progress.”
Certain majors require inclusion in a course for more than one semester in order to transfer.
The academic senate has a resolution for this because of the small percentage of students that possibly will be greatly affected; specifically the athletics, arts and music departments at CSM.
Exceptions for these departments are being made if the proposal is applied, said Marlatt Dorr.
If a student is on the football team for his community college career, repeating a course designed to keep the player in shape would not count towards a repeated course.
Other classes similar to golf lessons at a golf course are subject to course repetition reduction.
A student pays $36 for a one unit golf class, but can pay $100 to not put a dent in taxpayer pockets. These classes can be changed to community service classes, opposed to paying for the classes through general funds
“Taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for a golf class at the golf course,” Marlatt Dorr said. “At a time when funds are tight , it’s not the best use of taxpayer’s dollars.”
Throughout the whole state, Marlatt Dorr said 51 percent of students in California community colleges repeated a course.
About 876,000 took a course for the second time, 117,000 a third, 117,000 a fourth and 85,000 a fifth.