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News Update

California community colleges expect more students even with online classes.

The chancellor of the California Community Colleges said Monday that he was encouraging all 114 campuses to keep classes online in the fall but said he still thought that enrollment would increase as unemployed people seek retraining during the pandemic.

“Displaced Californians are going to come to community colleges to improve their lives. So we’ve got to advocate that we get every resource to help that happen,” Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley said during the statewide Board of Governors meeting, which was held online. He said he would advocate strongly to reverse some of the budget cuts recently proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to cope with declining tax revenues caused by the health emergency.

Some of the state’s 72 community college districts, which are making decisions on the matter, have decided to remain online unless the health situation improves significantly in the fall. Oakley said he encourages all to stay with fully online learning since he said it “will be the most relevant way for us to continue to reach our students.” But he said that colleges will need to get better and quicker data on how many students are continuing in the classes and how well they are succeeding, particularly low-income students and some minorities.

Community colleges also need to expand the efficiencies of online by eliminating travel expenses for meetings, according to Oakley. “This Covid-19 crisis has forced us to innovate on a scale we did not think was imaginable,” he said.