2012 has been a rough year for the City College of San Francisco. Over the summer news surfaced that the institution, which enrolls nearly 90,0000 students, was facing closure because of mismanagement and administrative chaos. The accrediting board gave the school until March to fall in line with a host of proposed changes and cost cutting measures. And so far, things aren’t looking terrible.
The college is taking major steps toward institutional change, including using data driven approaches to determine which courses to teach and collecting late fees from students. Some changes, of course, are more controversial than others. Like many other institutions, the college has narrowed its mission statement to focus on job preparation and university preparation and losing some of its emphasis on “lifelong learning”, programs meant to appeal to older students.
San Francisco Chronicle reporter Nanette Asimov has been following the story and sums it up this way: “All sides say they’ve managed to change…since July, when college leaders, faculty and students were stunned to learn that their future depends on running the huge college in a more productive, businesslike way. Nobody says the work is done and nobody is happy about every change.”
Indeed, just before the holidays students and faculty publicly protested some of the changes. Next month, the school will layoff 30 full-time clerical employees and dozens of part-time faculty and counselors. And many students and faculty are worried that academic programs in ethnic studies will suffer from being lumped together under a newly created school with the odd title of “Behavioral Science/Social Science/Multicultural Studies.”
CCSF is one of California’s largest community colleges. As Julianne Hing and Hatty Lee illustrated earlier this year, students of color rely heavily on community colleges. Here’s more.