Photo by Nicholas Noell
Long Beach City College (LBCC) has announced that two winter sessions will be offered to students shortly after its Board voted to partake in a controversial two-tier fee system for intersession courses.
Earlier this year, Governor Brown signed into law AB995 or the Community Colleges Intersession Extension Program (CCIEP), which was authored by Santa Barbara Assemblymember Das Williams. This program permits community colleges to create extended intercessions that charge non-resident tuition for courses offered during non-normal semesters, amounting to over four times the cost of what a residential student would typically pay for the course during these winter or summer sessions.
The two sessions—one traditional, the other called “extended”—are to increase access, according to LBCC Superintendent-President Eloy Ortiz Oakley.
The traditional session will remain in coordination with existing fee and financial aid policies; this amounts to $46 per unit. The extension session, however, will adhere to the fee policies that were approved by the LBCC Board on October 22, which amounts to $225 per unit for residential students and $265 per unit for non-residential students. For students who fit the requirements, there is the possibility of obtaining a fee waiver that will reduce the Extended Session cost to $90 per unit.
“While I am aware of concerns related to our participation in the Extension Program,” Oakley said in a press release, “LBCC is taking proactive steps towards increasing access and ensuring students are aware of their options and that accurate information on both programs is available in order for them to make informed decisions on their academic goals and needs.”
Supporters of the legislation, particularly claim the two-tier fee system will increase access to high-demand courses while allowing students to complete their degrees and certificates faster. Critics point out that it divides accessibility, providing an advantage to students who have the privilege to afford higher educational costs.
Regular winter intersession priority register will begin November 18, followed by regular spring semester registration on December 2 and the newly added winter extension program registration beginning on December 9.
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