At Sierra College, early bird gets the classes |

At Sierra College, early bird gets the classes

Getting into and finishing college in four years is becoming complicated amid California’s current funding crisis.

As admissions limits and standards tighten across California’s UC and CSU systems, more and more students hoping to leave high school for college right away will look to the state’s community colleges.

Classes, especially those core classes for students hoping to finish their community college tenure in two years in order to transfer, will fill quickly at Sierra College’s Grass Valley campus, said marketing chief Sue Michaels.

“The demand for those classes is so high right now,” Michaels said. “They fill up within hours of registration. It’s the very organized and together student who’s going to get in.”

It behooves both first-year and continuing students to visit Sierra College counselors now to pick out their classes for upcoming semesters, said the college’s Grass Valley campus Dean Stephanie Ortiz. Registration is underway for the college’s summer semester and fall registration for all students begins on May 4. Priority registration for continuing students begins April 13.

“We’re at capacity at the Nevada County campus,” Ortiz said. “The college as a whole is having to cut back in total enrollment due to our funding.”

The college is facing a near $11 million shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year.

Over the past five years, the satellite campus’ enrollment has fluctuated between 2,715 to 3,238 students. The goal is to have just over 3,000 students enrolled in the upcoming school year, Ortiz said.

While students from Grass Valley and Nevada City make up a majority of the Nevada County campus’ enrollment, Michaels said they can expect more competition from out-of-area students who can’t get classes at other campuses.

“Rocklin is bursting at the seams and you’re going to see those students coming up here,” Michaels said.

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