COS Shuts Down Forth Summer Session

May 22, 2009 9:52:14 AM PDT
Officials at College of the Sequoias say they're losing about six million dollars because of state budget cuts.Spencer Hensley arrived at the College of the Sequoias admissions counter on Thursday disappointed the school's fourth summer session was canceled. He was hoping to take an English course to give him a head start on completing his degree.

Spencer Hensley said, "Because of the budget cuts canceling it out I cannot take it until the fall and I will have to take English 251 in the winter or spring of 2010."

Hensley isn't alone. More than 18-hundred students enrolled in COS's fourth summer session will have to delay their degrees at least one semester.

Callie Galvez said, "It's harder to find some of the teachers the class times are all overriding with each other."

Many are worried the classes they plan to take in the fall won't be offered at all. Budget cutbacks have already forced admissions to slash 30 more classes and turn 1,000 students away each semester.

"I think its absolutely horrible I think it's a mess and I really can't say much else about it other than that," said Hensley.

COS President Bill Scroggins says defeat of the special election propositions forced the class reductions. He says the school was told Wednesday its losses would be around $6-million dollars ... twice what was expected.

"It makes me sick to my stomach that in the worst economy that we've experienced in generations that the one hope for training and employment is being denied to our residents," said Scroggins.

While eliminating COS's fourth summer session will save the school about $150,000 ... administrators here say more drastic cutbacks are to come.

Next week Governor Schwarzenegger is expected to sign legislation eliminating a majority of funding for community college sports programs.

That means the COS football team would be gone. The field ... and a soon-to-be-built $13-million dollar sports facility would only be used for recreational use.

It's just another cutback for the school whose mission is to offer as many opportunities as possible for the community.

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