Many students at College of the Sequoias say when they first enrolled in school they were hoping to get their certificate or enough credits to transfer to a four-year college within two years. Instead, budget cuts are forcing them to stall their post-college plans a little later.
"I've been here this is my fourth semester and I haven't gotten anything accomplished," Katarina Robbins said.
Robbins is hoping to transfer from COS so she can study social work at a four-year university. She says COS' plans to cut more classes next fall to help close a nearly $2-million dollar budget deficit makes it hard for students to register for the right classes.
"By the time you sign up for your classes you get a whole bunch of other ones you don't need and you're just like I don't need to take this class but I need to take enough classes so I can get my financial aid," Robbins said.
COS President Stan Carrizosa says the college is making nearly a half million dollars in cuts in administration costs, slashing more classes this fall and reducing funding to one of the college's most successful programs - the Puente program, which helps first-generation college students transfer to a four-year university.
"It's to help them organize build the study skills build a network and then understand because their first generation college students how to navigate the system," Carrizosa said.
As COS administrators work out the cuts for next year the passage of Prop 30 has allowed them to bring some programs back.
"There's limited resources but some of the money that we're getting is to restore lost enrollment from the past so we've gone to the board to take that limited funding and invest it in summer school," Carrizosa said.
Less funding from the state has prompted COS to cut its summer program two years in a row. Many students credit summer school with helping them finish their degree faster.
"If that does happen that would be really great I know a lot of students do need those programs so they can go to their universities or whatever their after school plans are," Mary Ellen said.
COS says if it can bring back summer school it would be a modified program that would offer less classes than its previous summer sessions but they would be able to offer it for at least 2013 and 2014.