De Anza College enrollment decline, potential budget cut

A drop in enrollment at De Anza College has led to the prospect of a potential budget cut for the future.

In a statement released to faculty, President Brian Murphy mentions that for every 1,000 students lost, $5 million in state funding is lost.

Students affected by the recent rulings on DACA are likely part of the enrollment drops.

“We are well aware of the anxiety this creates for our DACA students, their families and well beyond, and believe that this fear has caused some of our students not to return to De Anza,” Murphy said. “Beyond the specifics of DACA, the newly emboldened voices of white supremacy and nationalism cause students of all races and backgrounds to fear for themselves and their families.”

While there is a faculty-wide awareness of enrollment drops, professors like Jim Nguyen, who teaches political science, have noticed the effects of low enrollment firsthand.

“I think winter quarter is usually just our lowest draw of the quarters,” Nguyen said. “Fall has always been our strongest, followed by spring and then winter comes in third in that equation, but we’re down about 8.6 percent this winter versus last winter.”

The political science department cancelled three class sections because of low enrollment. 149 sections were cancelled campuswide with 1055 students affected, Nguyen said.

He attributes the drops to hassles in commuting, coupled with competition from other community colleges and the change in attitudes students have towards enrolling in classes.

According to Murphy, every quarter that there is an enrollment drop, the college budget doesn’t go into effect until two quarters later.

Despite drops in enrollment, some professors and departments on campus haven’t seen as low a drop or any drops in enrollment.

Computer science professor Mark Sherby said enrollment in his department is actually up from previous quarters, even adding new sections.

ESL Professor Kathy Flores says that her classes also seems unimpacted by the overall drops in enrollment.

“Both my classes were full at the beginning of the quarter, and I had a waiting list,” Flores said.

While there has been drops this quarter, the college’s strategy towards dealing with the drops has been working overall.

“The administrator’s philosophy is if we cancel them [low enrolled sections] early, we can try to get those students in other classes,” Nguyen said. “Of the 1055, we were able to place those students into other sections except for 68.”