Students find tranquility in the shade near the LRC building on an otherwise busy campus. (Evan Da Silva)
Over 2,500 new students have been added to the Saddleback Community College campus this fall semester which is already home to 26,832. Those nearly 27,000 students make up over 2,100 different classrooms and courses. Needless to say, the enrollment process is a busy one.
“The most difficult part of our job is making sure students are prepared and that they take seriously that not only are you paying for your education, but that you’re doing all you can to be successful,” says, Dean of Enrollment Services, Jean Rosenkrans. “If students would just take the time to figure out, ‘What do I need to know to be a college student?’ they will be successful, and that is our job at Admissions and Records, to help them.”
Dean Rosenkrans also stressed the importance of student communication and interaction with the office, suggesting a student focus group to evaluate both the on and offline aspects of the application process.
“We’re trying to find ways to educate the students and on the administrative side, for us to be better in our techniques of reaching out and making sure that our message is heard and is read, and we need a lot of help in that area,” said Rosenkrans.
Admissions, however, is not the only area feeling the impact that the beginning of the fall semester brings. With so many new and pre existing students making their way on and off of campus continuously throughout the day, there is bound to be back-up, and that back-up culminates in the school parking lot.
Campus police have been taking extra efforts to ensure the safety of all drivers, both staff and students, and are not hesitant to take action on either when needed.
“We are bringing in extra officers and extra patrol to assist with traffic and directing traffic,” said Officer Beau Arbuthnot. “As far as road-rage issues, definitely, people get upset, but that’s the same with any location.”
Except for the occasional ticket, parking violations have been kept under control. Only one car to this point in the semester has been towed for illegal parking, by blocking the exit of the lot. This occurred August 20th in Parking Lot #10.
Another aspect of college life that perhaps affects more students than parking is the availability of books and dreaded book fees.
“The Bookstore’s goal is to always have the right books available at the right time for all students. However, every semester, there are a number of changes, books added, drops from classes, and late adoptions that can create out-of-stock scenarios. Understanding the stress that comes with not having all books in hand, the Saddleback bookstore works with publishers, students and faculty to ensure that everyone understands the situation. If the Bookstore learns a book is back ordered with the publisher, we let instructors know as soon as possible and identify an alternative source for ordering the books,” says campus bookstore manager Ann Floresca.
In the beginning of this new semester alone the Saddleback Community College bookstore has sold more than 25,000 new, used, and digital books while renting over 7,000 others to students as well. That’s 32,000 books being circulated from a tiny little room next to the Admissions office. The most requested titles by students include Intermediate Algebra, Beginning Algebra, Intro to Biology, and Intro to Geography.
Irvine Valley College has also seen a dramatic increase in student enrollment over the past years. Currently there are about 14,000 students enrolled in the college.
Statistics Professor at Irvine Valley College, Seth Hochwald said there is a pattern between a bad economy and student enrollment.
“When the economy is good, people are out working so enrollment isn’t as high, but when it’s bad, people want to come to school,” Hochwald said.
An increase in enrollment not only has an effect on the students but also the teachers must handle petitioning students. Students who receive priority enrollment seem to be the only ones who don’t have to deal with this issue.
“I feel horrible for the students because they can’t get the classes they need,” Hochwald said.
Although Hochwald said this isn’t the first year enrollment has been an issue at Irvine Valley College. The rate of new students and returning students has been on the rise for a couple years now.
The Admissions office is hard at work providing assistance to all students both new and old. (Evan Da Silva)
Students wait in line to purchase books and more. Whatever you need, the bookstore guarentees to have it. (Evan Da Silva)
Campus police has been making extra efforts to keep hectic parking conditions on campus under control. (Evan Da Silva)