COLUMN: The endless road in college

Melissa Meek / Roundup


Imagine having your entire college plan mapped out.

You know exactly when you’re taking the classes you need to and you’ve planned which ones you need to take before you can advance to another.

Unfortunately, those plans may have come to a crashing end when the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) announced May 27 that all of their colleges were directed to cancel their second summer sessions.

For many students, this could have just ruined their plans of how they were going to finish college. What if they needed one last class to finally transfer to a university?

From my first semester at Pierce College, I had planned which classes I needed and which semesters I’d be taking them. Canceling the second session hasn’t impacted my chance to transfer, but it has set me back.

No one wants to spend forever in college, myself included, but there’s only so much anyone can do when money is involved.

We have been lucky during the recent economic crisis, with Pierce President Robert Garber’s financially-savvy choices in saving money for the college.

As students, we should be grateful to be giving up only one summer session. Both could have been canceled.

Even the winter session could be in jeopardy. Its fate will be determined June 24 at the LACCD board of trustees meeting.

Many students take advantage of the five-week sessions to get ahead on units, take classes they couldn’t fit into their spring or fall schedules or repeat classes they might have failed.

It makes me wonder how students will ever get to leave Pierce if they never get the chance to take the classes they need to graduate or transfer.

And it isn’t only the students that will be affected.

Garber has said that all professors (full-time and adjunct) get paid hourly during the summer. The professors who were teaching classes during the second session won’t get paid.

Decisions like this can cause dilemmas and set students back, but I know the LACCD is only doing this to ensure the future of its colleges.

It may take an extra semester or two to complete the classes you need, but it may also mean that we have a spring and fall semester to come back to.

(Melissa Meek / Roundup)