Woes mount for CCSF with latest enrollment challenges

Mike Koozmin/The S.F. ExaminerMore trouble: CCSF expects to fall short of the 34

Mike Koozmin/The S.F. ExaminerMore trouble: CCSF expects to fall short of the 34

There is another financial crisis looming for City College of San Francisco.

In addition to the reforms the college must make both structurally and financially, it will face more financial hardship if it does not meet enrollment goals for the second year in a row.

“We are not on pace to make our base target of 34,000 at this time,” Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration Peter Goldstein told the board of trustees in October. “And I was very disturbed for assumption for spring because it was so high. It indicates huge turnaround for the semester.”

But just how much the college stands to lose is not known. The reduction will be based on the number of full-time students enrolled. City College receives $5,000 per student for credit courses and $3,500 for noncredit courses.
CCSF must enroll 34,000 full-time students, those taking 12 or more credits, to maintain its funding level.

Currently, the school is projected to fall a few thousand students short for the second time in two years. As a result, the state would fund the school at a lower rate next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

“When your base drops you lose revenue and have to cut back on course offerings,” said Interim Chancellor Thelma Scott-Skillman. “That’s where you talk about the potential of layoffs.”

City College has struggled to enroll at least 34,000 students for the past two years. Last school year, it had 32,600 full-time students and was placed on probation as a result. The college is not currently on track to hit 34,000 next school year.

For the fall semester, CCSF had 10,600 full-time students. It’s projecting 11,900 for the spring semester and 1,200 for summer. Additionally, there are fewer than 10,000 full-time students taking noncredit courses.

Scott-Skillman said a number of factors contributed to the drop in enrollment, including concerns over the July accreditation report that found that City College was not compliant with numerous standards and its financial outlook was lacking.

City College officials have until March 15 to submit a report and make changes to meet the 14 recommendations and remain open.

“If I were a student, I would be questioning if this is a real school and will the doors be open beyond June 30,” Scott-Skillman said. “But our doors are open. It’s not business as usual. We are making reforms and putting things in place that will make the institution more efficient, effective and responsive for years to come.”

Until recently, the college had no way of tracking its enrollment. Projections not only help with funding, but also allow CCSF to better plan for the next semester’s class offerings and sizes.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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