For-credit class in danger

Doug Comer

A campuswide report that Dr. Jack Friedlander, executive vice president of Educational Services calls “brainstorming ideas,” suggests canceling the environmental horticulture program, moving the Cosmetology Academy to the Wake Center, and packing classrooms to get more funding from the state.

The report, compiled by every department on campus, also recommends that more coin-operated duplicating machines be installed for students, but that almost all class handouts be sold through the Bookstore. International students would pay higher fees, more parking spaces would be opened up for the first weeks of class, and the hours of the popular Life Fitness Center would be expanded.

The report was released campuswide Friday and its proposals would not be in place to

affect students for at least a year, Friedlander said.

“At least we’re not hacking away to balance the budget,” he said. “The college isn’t in the budget crisis we thought we might be in when we implemented the process.”

City College’s Combined Consultative Planning Process is the latest in an ongoing effort to cover costs while received reduce funds from the state. It is a 17-page compilation of hundreds of ideas generated from questionnaires given to all department chairs, deans and program directors early last semester, asking how each can cut down on costs or even raise money. The ideas are divided into three categories: proposals that could be implemented immediately, those that would need additional research and those that will be dropped.

The potential canceling of horticulture as a “for-credit” program was a result of its low student enrollment; the classes could be offered instead by Continuing Ed as no-credit classes. The possible move of cosmetology would be to save $158,160 in rent the college pays in annually for the Magnolia Shopping Center location.

The report offers a new technique to counter low classroom enrollments. Similar to the airlines’ practice of overbooking flights in anticipation of no-shows, in-demand classes might begin with an overload of students, Friedlander said. These numbers would exceed the agreed-on “maximum class sizes.”

“It’s predictable,” he said, referring to the high numbers of students who drop classes before the add-drop date. “The number of students ‘shopping’ during the first two weeks is enormous.”

City College receives funding based largely on the number of students in a class the third week of the semester. Some teachers might have to take on overloaded classes – for extra pay – in case they over-estimate the number of students who will drop.

Friedlander also said he expects teachers to be against it.

He said that he would like create a workgroup to develop strategies to ease parking problems.