The Big Picture
Enrollment is surging higher at California Community Colleges, driven by fee increases at UC and CSU systems, and a high statewide unemployment rate of 12.5 percent (January 2010).
While faced with increased demands for service, community colleges took $766.9 million in budget cuts in 2008-09 and 2009-10. Our share at College of the Canyons was $12 million in ongoing funds.
If we had received that funding, we could have offered 689 more class sections, which would accommodate 20,670 enrollments.
2010-11 Budget - Provide the Resources to Meet Demand
College of the Canyons supports the Governor's proposal to provide $126 million to fund statewide enrollment growth of 2.21 percent.
This would help colleges meet some of the increasing demand for education in the face of record unemployment rates and reduced access to California State University and University of California campuses.
If growth funding is approved, College of the Canyons could receive as much as $1.3 million.
With that additional funding, we could offer 384 class sections, which would accommodate approximately 11,500 enrollments.
Between Fall 2007 and Fall 2009, College of the Canyons saw a 28.5 percent increase in applications.
Unfortunately, by the time new students can enroll, class sections are already filling up. The number of new students who actually enroll dropped 14.9 percent this last year alone.
Only about half (52 percent) of the students who apply to COC get into classes.
More than 8,673 students were on waitlists at COC in Spring 2010.
An Engine of Growth
California Community Colleges are an engine of economic growth, both in terms of their direct business impact, and the support they provide to companies through ongoing training.
Direct Business Impact
The California Community College system has $5.36 billion worth of construction projects waiting to be built.
The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation conducted a study that showed that providing funding for that construction would:
- Create 103,000 full-time equivalent jobs and
- Generate nearly $13 billion in business revenue throughout the state.
- Spending of College of the Canyons revenues created $202 million in business volume in the Santa Clarita Valley in 2008.
By employing 1,454 people in 2008, College of the Canyons generated 14,012 full-time equivalent jobs in the community.
Service to Business & Industry
College of the Canyons has trained more than 18,000 employees from more than 3,000 local companies through its strong local business partnerships since 1993.
In 2008-09, College of the Canyons served 507 employers and helped train 3,213 employees through its Employee Training Institute (ETI), Center for Applied Competitive Technology (CACT), and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
The college generated $1.6 million in revenue to support training and development activities for local companies.
College of the Canyons partnered with the City of Santa Clarita to house the WorkSource Center on our campus.
Community members can search local job listings at the Center, and prepare resumes and connect with employers through the Center's high-speed Internet connection, phone and fax lines, and copy machines.
Local businesses can post job openings, conduct pre-screenings of potential applicants and hold on-site interviews - all while learning more about the various money-saving programs available to businesses located in the Santa Clarita Enterprise Zone.
College of the Canyons is working with the Cities of Santa Clarita, Lancaster and Palmdale to establish a local Workforce Investment Board (WIB). WIBs are the conduit through which millions of dollars in federal funding flow for job training initiatives, such as the WorkSource Center.
The process for creating a new WIB includes preparation of an application to the state, with reviews by multiple agencies, and final approval by the Governor.
Current regulations dictate that an area wishing to form its own WIB must have a minimum population of 500,000 residents in the proposed service area.
Only residents of incorporated cities in the proposed service area count toward meeting the population requirement.
Residents of unincorporated county areas do not count.
College of the Canyons is working with federal legislators to revise the Workforce Investment Act (which authorizes WIBs) to allow all residents of an area to count toward meeting the population requirement. If this were changed, Santa Clarita would meet the population requirements for its own WIB.
Estimates by the Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board indicate that if Santa Clarita had its own WIB, it would receive approximately $3.5 million per year, as opposed to approximately $200,000 now.