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Latinos Hardest Hit By Community College Class Shortages

Aired 5/20/13 on KPBS News.

Latinos are a fast-growing portion of the California Community College student body, so the system's lack of space squeezes them most.

Limited community college capacity could keep 2.5 million Californians out of the system over the next 10 years. The seat shortage is expected to fall hardest on Latino students, squeezing 840,000 out of the schools.

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Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges have added 240 classes for the Fall 2013 semester. The additions make up for the loss of hundreds of classes in recent years.

Since 2007, San Diego Community Colleges have cut more than 2,600 class sections, Grossmont-Cuyamaca Colleges lost 1,600 classes and Palomar College halved its summer offerings.

A new report commissioned by Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit company that runs private colleges, projects the lack of access to community college programs could cost California Latinos $17.8 billion in potential earnings by 2022.

Deborah Santiago heads research for Excelencia in Education, which studies Latinos and higher education. She said not only are California Latinos younger on average than the rest of the population, but they are more likely to attend community colleges than any other group for simple reasons.

“Community colleges are, from a sticker price perspective, more affordable and, because they are in the communities where these students live, therefore accessible,” she said.

But Patricia Gandara, co-director of UCLA’s Civil Right Project, which has also studied Latinos in the state’s community colleges, said the real crisis is that relatively few Latinos ever make it to a four-year degree track. The vast majority of Latinos who also attend high schools in low-income areas are not college-ready, she said.

“They spend all this time doing remedial work until they kind of run out of time and run out of money and don’t even get credit for transfer," she said. "So, it’s a huge problem, the sort of stagnation of the group in the two-year colleges.”

Gandara said a handful of the state's community colleges are doing a good job of supporting Latino students so they complete an associate's degree or transfer to a four-year university but systematic improvement is very slow.

Gandara and Santiago agree the state’s recent focus on improving and accelerating graduation from public colleges and universities could help. But, Santiago said, serving more students will also require restoring class section and student support services cut during the economic downturn.

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Avatar for user 'bailarin'

bailarin | May 20, 2013 at 8:36 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

PNTR China is the largest transfer of wealth program the U.S. Congress and the White House enacted in 2000. What used to go to government coffers and American workers/middle-class went to the pockets of CEOs in the form of hundreds of millions in bonuses, members of the U.S. Congress and residents of the White House in the form of campaign contribution (Bribe in layman's term) and to China who is now growing its military and space program (We now can't afford).

PNTR China allowed Corporate America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to transfer America's advantage in Science and Technology, research and manufacturing know-how and to boot the training of Chinese engineers and technicians. All these with dual applications; commercial and military.

PNTR China resulted in millions of American workers loosing their jobs, decrease in import tax revenue and drastic reduction in the individual and business tax base for income tax revenue and Social Security and Medicare funding. Since the onset of NAFTA in 1994 and PNTR China in 2000 the cumulative negative balance of trade amounts to 7.9 trillion dollars. Trillions in budget deficit at the Federal, State and Local levels and one of the negative results; cuts in educational funding.

PNTR China took away the government's stimulus spending tool during a recession. Now that consumer goods manufacturing is in China and the Third World consumer spending has a very minimal effect in the domestic economy due to the fact that jobs are created in China and the Third World to replenish consumer goods inventory.

What we pay for Chinese and Third World goods is not the actual cost of the goods. We have to factor in; trillions in negative balance of trade, trillions in budget deficit at the Federal, State and Local levels, the stress on the American workers/middle-class, employed and unemployed, immeasurable.

The military implication of PNTR China is scary.

MFN China, the predecessor of PNTR China, was suspended due to transfer of sensitive military technology. With that concern the U.S. Congress made MFN China permanent (PNTR China) in 2000 at the insistence of Corporate America, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Ivy League economists.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 20, 2013 at 11:19 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

This is spam which bailarina has previously copy/pasted, posted.

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Avatar for user 'Alex_Grebenshchikov'

Alex_Grebenshchikov | May 20, 2013 at 3:21 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

So, since Latinos are the largest group of people in the community college system, they will be the hardest hit by class reductions. But since they are the largest group of people in the community college system, will they not also be the largest group that is able to remain in college, just due to proportionality? Unless the class shortages only cut out Latinos and no other ethnic group, but I doubt that - I would suspect any ethnic group could be affected by the class shortages. So, the way I see it, Latinos are in fact the least hard hit by the class shortages of all the ethnic groups since they will have the greatest representation, percentage wise, in the average classroom with or without class shortages. See, the title of this article is a little misleading. The glass is not half empty my Latino friends, it is very much half full!

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | May 20, 2013 at 4:31 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Well said Alex.


"Gandara and Santiago agree the state’s recent focus on improving and accelerating graduation from public colleges and universities could help."


How exactly is the state going to accelerate graduation? Lower the bar? Make classes easier? Buy faster degree printers?

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