BC announces nearly unchanged fall enrollment

BC announces nearly unchanged fall enrollment
Bakersfield College is seen in an August 2011 file photo.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Despite large cuts in state funding, Bakersfield College begins its academic year Aug. 20 with essentially the same enrollment and the same number of class offerings.

BC said Tuesday that 16,393 students have enrolled. The majority of classes are full, but slots remain open in nearly 70 classes, including philosophy, automotive technology, journalism, business administration, communications and English, the school said.

The school is offering just one fewer class this fall, down to 1,480. BC has shifted its focus to core and transfer disciplines, such as mathematics, sciences and English, the school said.

Nearly 2,000 students are enrolled at the school's Delano campus. More than 400 are enrolled in the Weill Institute.

BC was forced to increase tuition and reduce class offerings last fall because of state budget reductions. It's enrollment last fall was down 8 percent from the 2010-11 academic year.

Enrollment this year is down less than 1 percent.

California has slashed 12 percent from community college budgets over the last three years, the school said, forcing many changes on campuses statewide.

"California's economic crisis is evident at Bakersfield College," Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, BC's interim president, said in a news release. "Bakersfield College can no longer be everything to everyone when it comes to educating the community. The College is focusing on core transfer requirements, high demand career and technical education programs and streamlining educational services to help students complete educational goals faster."