The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Enrollment drops may muddy budget

Student enrollment dropped across the Foothill-De Anza Community College District compared to Spring 2012, cutting projected revenues for the upcoming academic year.

De Anza College lost 512 full-time-equivalent students while Foothill College’s enrollment fell by 1,103, according to May 7 analysis.

The California Education Code ties each community college district’s state funding to enrollment.

The FHDA district now projects it will lose $7.34 million in state funding in the 2013-14 academic year if it cannot boost its enrollment figures, said Bret Watson, interim director of budget and personnel at De Anza, at the May 14 campus budget meeting.

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The district could face a $10.2 million shortfall for the next academic year when combined with expected expense increases, according to a April 22 analysis by Kevin McElroy, district vice chancellor of business services. De Anza would shoulder $5.1 million of the shortfall.

Watson said the district balanced its budget for the 2013-14 year.

“Our analyses suggest that factors affecting enrollment include several recent increases in student fees; four years of state funding reductions; and new restrictions on how many times courses can be taken plus other state regulatory changes,” Becky Bartindale, coordinator of communications and public affairs for the FHDA district, wrote in email.

Other California community colleges districts are also reporting declines, she wrote.

“The Public Policy Institute of California recently reported that participation rates in California community colleges are at their lowest point in 20 years,” Bartindale wrote.

Foothill tends to report greater declines in enrollment than De Anza because Foothill offers more lifelong education, while the state gives “greater priority is being given to students who are pursuing career certificates, degrees and university transfer,” she wrote.

Both colleges are taking actions to boost the enrollment.

“The district has spent more than $200,000 on additional outreach and recruitment efforts at both colleges, and is spending about $800,000 this year to support additional classes beyond what the budget would otherwise allow,” Bartindale wrote.

At De Anza, “we have a robust outreach program,” Kathleen Moberg, dean of admissions and records, wrote in email.

“The Outreach staff go to over 70 high schools in the Bay Area, conduct application workshops, administer placement tests at
high schools, and host four conferences on campus targeting special populations highlighted in our Strategic Planning initiatives.”

De Anza hosts more than 200 outreach events every year, Rob Mieso, director of the office of outreach and relations with schools, wrote in email.

He highlighted the May 11 New Student & Parent Open House that drew more than 3,000 students and parents to the campus.

“While budget cuts and reduced course sections have contributed to the overall decline in enrollment, De Anza College continues to be the number one college of choice for students from our local high schools,” Mieso wrote.

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