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Enrollment drop threatens funding

Illustration by Serina Mercado
Illustration by Serina Mercado

By Michael Burkett

Staff writer

City College must increase enrollment numbers to avoid expiring state funding.

Of the $201 million in funding from local and state sources that City College receives, $16 million comes from San Francisco’s Proposition A Parcel Tax and $38 million is state stabilization funds. Full-Time Equivalent Students (FTES), a mixture of credit and noncredit students, generate the remaining $147 million.

The Parcel Tax ends in 2020 and the state stabilization funds will end in 2017.

FTES figures vary amongst City College officials, making it difficult to calculate the precise enrollment drop in recent years. The state counts 12 hours of credit classes as one FTE student and 525 noncredit hours as one FTE student.

According to the March reports from Chancellor Arthur Tyler, the number of FTES is 28,000. The state sets the FTES number at 33,000 for stabilization funding purposes.

Jeff Hamilton, the Marketing and Public Information Officer for City College, the school says the FTES number currently ranges from 24,000 to 27,000. Hamilton’s estimation puts the enrollment drop at 29 percent when compared to 2010 figures.

Monika Liu, Associate Dean of Admissions and Records, has not responded to inquiries.

A volunteer team of 200-plus faculty and students, spearheaded by English as a second language instructor Susan Lopez, is working to increase enrollment. Lopez says the drop in enrollment is approximately 37 percent.

City College faces a deficit in operations costs in the near future if enrollment does not increase significantly.

Hamilton, Tyler and Susan Lamb, vice chancellor of instruction, maintain that a drop in enrollment of only six percent has occurred from 2013-2014.

When stabilization funds as well as the Parcel Tax ends, City College will have a projected deficit of more than $2.5 million if the number of FTES remains at almost 28,000 with funding.

Shortly after he took over in November 2013, Tyler hired Interact Communications, a Wisconsin company, to manage City College’s marketing campaign.

“There was no marketing plan for CCSF when I took over (as chancellor) and I initiated the contract with Interact for marketing. So far approximately $1 million has been spent and it has stopped our ‘bleeding’ (extreme drop in enrollment) students,” Tyler said.

Interact’s contract expired in late 2014 and Special Trustee Guy Lease approved the renewal of the contract for an additional one-year period, provided, costs do not exceed $1 million.

City College’s difficulties are far from over, according to Tyler, but enrollment may increase to a point that, “…fiduciary responsibilities of the college will be met”.



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