State Sen. Liu to explain new priority system for community college class registration

State Sen. Carol Liu (D-Pasadena) is scheduled to headline a study session at Glendale Community College on Sept. 24 that will focus on new legislation that will shape how colleges service and prioritize students.

With Senate Bill 1143, Liu helped establish a statewide “Student Success Task Force” — a 20-member team of students, educators and policy makers who spent six months studying how community colleges could more efficiently prepare students for four-year institutions and the work force.

The initiative was driven in part by shrinking resources that are forcing California educators to reprioritize their goals.

In January, the task force published 22 recommendations, to be discussed at the September meeting.

One significant policy change would revamp how students get priority class registration.

In the past, students with the most units under their belt were given priority to register for classes. But from 2009 to 2010, 133,000 first-time students across the state were unable to sign-up for a single class.

The new policy would assign priority to first-time students and returning students alike — as long as they adhere to their program of study, which students would have to determine within three semesters.

“It will be an open meeting, so it is the opportunity for everybody to ask any questions they want [and] talk to her,” Glendale Community College trustee Ann Ransford said. “It is going to be a very inclusive kind of event.”

Officials hope the recommendations will improve students’ collective potential to succeed in a system that only sees 53% of its 2.6 million students earn degrees and 41% transfer to a four-year university.

-- Kelly Corrigan, Times Community News

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