Countywide : Despite Tuition, Summer College Classes Filling Up

Orange County’s eight community colleges are showing mixed trends in summer school enrollment in the first summer session since course fees were begun.

The state-imposed $5-a-unit tuition apparently has had little or no effect on enrollment, school officials say. They also noted that the tuition, begun last fall, had little impact on class sizes in the fall or spring semesters.

Preliminary figures show that Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa and Saddleback Community College District’s campuses in Irvine and Mission Viejo are seeing the largest summer-school enrollment increases. Orange Coast reported an 8% increase in first-day enrollment last Monday, and Saddleback, as of mid-week, had a 15% increase.

Rancho Santiago College’s Santa Ana campus had the biggest drop among Orange County community colleges, about a 9% loss of summer school students this year from 1984.


Enrollment at Cypress, Fullerton, Coastline Community and Golden West colleges was reported to be about the same as last summer’s.

Jack McGill, dean of admissions at Orange Coast, said summer school enrollment there was up despite an earlier start of the summer session. He said classes opened June 17, before most high schools had graduated and before University of California students finished their spring semester. He added that Orange Coast will nonetheless have many new high school graduates and UC students taking summer school, as late registration continues.

Orange Coast had 9,148 summer school students as of last Monday, compared to 8,413 on opening day of summer classes a year ago.

Early-starting classes at Rancho Santiago College are a major reason for decreased enrollment there, according to Registrar Kirby Matter. Rancho Santiago had 9,230 students enrolled as of last Monday, compared to 10,119 students in the summer of 1984.


The big increase in enrollment in south Orange County’s Saddleback Community College District was partially attributed to population growth there. The district operates Saddleback College in Mission Viejo and Irvine Valley College in Irvine, both rapidly growing cities.

Cypress College reported enrollment of 3,079 summer students, compared with 3,205 last summer. Fullerton College, for the first time, is having two sessions of summer school, said Al Busch, public information officer. Therefore, Busch said, enrollment totals won’t be known until later this summer, when the second session begins.

Nonetheless, he said, Fullerton’s first-session summer enrollment of 4,600 is comparable to the total of 5,100 students enrolled last summer. “It looks very encouraging,” he said, adding that the college believes final enrollment will at least match last year’s.

Coastline Community College, based in Fountain Valley, reported a slight increase--4,451 students this summer, up from 4,295 a year ago.


Golden West College, in Huntington Beach, also reported a slight gain, with 6,303 students signed up this summer, compared to 6,167 in the summer of 1984.