Community colleges have in the past been considered a great opportunity to many, even those who come from the first generation. At the end of 2019, the California College Promise Program offered two years of free tuition for first-time students who took full-time courses in California at a community college. Unfortunately, Covid then followed.
As a former alumnus of Gavilan College, I believe the decrease in enrollment had many factors due to Covid. As we all entered the pandemic I believe faculty and students did not know how to approach college education, especially during the shelter-in-place. Many are naïve to the different types of learning traits each student presents and resources were not offered or advertised as they normally would have been during the school year.
From a student’s perspective, in order to keep enrollment consistent, there needed to be more reassurance for the students that they were not alone during distance learning. Offering more services such as the learning center, hi-tech center along with AEC programs. Students were left without the confidence and the guidance they needed to successfully complete the semester and so many questions were unanswered. Students also endured financial struggles due to the shutdown and would have benefited from county resources such as food stamps but due to the shutdown, it was difficult trying to reach anybody.
I am pleased to see that the numbers are rising in enrollment at Gavilan College and that the campus is now back and able to thrive as it has done for many years.
Social Work Student at SJSU