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College of the Canyons registration policies to change

Posted: September 11, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 11, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Community colleges are changing their priorities for registration, which will affect which students can get the classes they need, College of the Canyons officials said Monday.

The move was met with mixed reviews at COC, where officials were discouraged the state was limiting administrators’ options.

“There are certain existing priorities, and those aren’t changing,” said Mike Wilding, vice president of student services. “But some of the local choice will change, and that’s unfortunate.”

Under the new system, veterans, foster children and disabled students will still receive the priority registration they’ve enjoyed, he said.

However, certain local choices, such as rewarding students with priority registration for participation in the school’s student government, and for athletes, no longer will be an option.

Instead, priority registration will go to those who have two semesters of solid academic progress under their belts and for first-time freshmen who complete an orientation process, an academic plan and declare their education goals.

There are parts of the move that Wilding supports, such as taking away the priority for community college students with more than 100 units, which is currently the case.

“I’m OK with that — they’ve had their chance,” Wilding said, noting that most of the academic programs are 60 units at two-year colleges.

The changes will also present a difficulty for students on probation who may “lose their place in line,” Wilding said.

The move also is essentially an unfunded mandate, according to Wilding.

“The college is going to have to do a significant amount of work before this happens,” Wilding said, referring to the training of counselors and systemwide software upgrades to make the necessary changes.

“We hope that colleges take some of their existing resources and then direct those toward orientation, assessment and helping students develop education plans,” said Paige Marlatt-Dorr, explaining there is no additional funding provided for schools.

“We know those three areas lay the groundwork for student success.”

The move, approved Monday by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors in a unanimous vote, will take effect starting with the 2014-15 school year.

Schools are required to begin notifying students of the changes in the spring 2013-14 school year.



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