Santa Rosa Junior College will be adding about 500 new classes next academic year thanks to funding from the state ballot measure Proposition 30, passed by voters in November. That means between 80 and 100 new courses in the 2013-14 school year for the Petaluma campus.
"We are thrilled," said Jane Salda?-Talley, vice president of the Petaluma campus. "It's been a very long time since we've been able to add this many classes back to our schedule."
Many of the classes are being restored after SRJC was forced to cut them due to budget reductions in recent years. The Petaluma campus has cut classes consistently since the spring of 2009, going from offering about 500 sections in the spring semester of that year to offering only 319 this year. With that dramatic drop in the number of sections offered, enrollment dropped off too, Salda?-Talley said.
"My hope is that we'll be bringing back about 50 sections a semester. It's not going to get us back to where we were, but it's moving us in the right direction." Sections, or individual classes, can include multiple offerings of a given course, such as English 101.
She said the Petaluma campus will be focusing on bringing back classes that students need to complete a major on the Petaluma campus or transfer to a four-year university. English and math departments in particular will see a large number of new classes added. That includes the one missing class that students need to complete a communications major on the Petaluma campus.
"We're trying to be very strategic about what's going to give our students the best advantage," Salda?-Talley said.
The influx of funding will allow the school to hire back many part-time teachers who were not able to teach or could only teach on a limited basis during the recession. In addition, two new faculty positions, one in earth and space sciences and another in English, have been hired for the fall.
Most of the new classes will be added in the fall, but Salda?-Talley said students will see a change in course offerings starting this summer, as the campus has made an effort to restructure its course offerings to provide more sections of high-demand classes.
SRJC officials suggested that students begin planning now for the coming academic year.
Priority registration for the summer semester begins on April 29, and priority registration for fall starts June 24.
To check out a class schedule and registration information, visit www.santarosa.edu.