Decrease in De Anza College course sections, district faculty


Annalise Freimarck, Canva

De Anza College has seen a 5.3% decrease in course offerings for fall 2020 from fall 2019.

Jodi Wong, Staff Writer

Following an ongoing trend in the Foothill-De Anza college district, De Anza College’s offered class sections have decreased since the fall quarter of 2019 by 5.3%.

The decrease in sections is not a new occurrence, but something that has been going on for the past few years, said Faculty Association president and English professor Timothy Shively. 

A reason provided by the board of directors was that there have been too many course offerings in previous years, and the district has lost money as a result. 

However, Shively says this does not seem to be the case, since “only 12 additional sections were offered” at Foothill, which he said was not a substantial increase in comparison to classes offered in other years.

Course shortages might also be attributed to a $3.5 million reduction that was going to part time faculty, which is now being used “in other areas.” Upon questioning which areas, Shively says he “can’t get a straight answer from the board.” 

The dwindling of class sections has been mirrored in the number of overall enrollments by a drop of 0.4%. 

“I’ve been looking at the numbers more all summer,” said Shively, “and we’ve been on an enrollment slide for the past four, five, six years…in the summer, it was up 15-30%…and it makes sense that we should open more sections so more students can enroll.” 

Annabella Chow, a 17 year old dual-enrolled high schooler, expressed similar sentiments.

“The demand for community college is high since everything is online, so it would be nice to have more sections,” Chow said, “I did notice that compared to last year there were some classes that weren’t available, but it wasn’t a big difference….I thought they (De Anza) reduced because of COVID.” 

Hector Benitez, kinesiology major, said that while “the variety of classes there were (at De Anza) was surprising…the sections for each class were kind of limited. If there were more sections available, I would’ve taken them.”

Decreased sections also means a decrease in faculty: full-time faculty has declined by 0.2% at De Anza and 3.3% overall in the Foothill-De Anza district.

Shively noted that this also means a greater drop in part-time faculty. 

“Considering how hard it is to live in the Bay Area…we shouldn’t be putting people out on the street when the college has the resources to keep them teaching,” he said. 

Shively said student government leaders have, at 3 separate board meetings, discussed the reductions along with other issues. 

The board has not yet responded directly. 

Note* The original story was corrected to reflect that the 12 new course offerings at Foothill were not substantial.