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L.A. City College

February 06, 1986

What's with all this doom and gloom at L.A. City College? Sure there are fewer students, but that's the case everywhere. As enrollments decline, so does our money.

Your picture of LACC was far from complete. You neglected to mention some of the impressive successes recently achieved by the college's programs and students.

For example, LACC's film students recently received widespread critical acclaim for their work. Our photography students took the most honors of any college at the local county fair competition and the student newspaper took second place in a recent collegiate competition.

Our speech students have taken top prizes consistently in state and national forensic competition. Our theater department has won more than 12 National College Theater awards, and garnered rave reviews for its recent productions of "Nicholas Nickleby" and "A Chorus Line."

Then there are the countless stories of students, many of them recent immigrants to the United States, who graduate in technical fields where they often immediately make as much money as the faculty who just taught them.

In response to some of the specific allegations in your (Dec. 12) article: LACC has not "put more emphasis on attracting students by offering non-credit, community service classes." As a matter of fact, during the past two years, the community services program has declined by one-third in the number of class offerings.

Community services classes also do not "discourage students from enrolling in credit classes." John Simpson, community services director, estimates that 10% to 15% of community service students cross over into the regular college program.

The college indeed has changed--but with the times. Throughout its history, L.A. City College has been a microcosm of Los Angeles and, as the city's ethnic composition has diversified, so has the college student body. Nonetheless, the college's mission has stayed constant: to open opportunities to each generation of students. City College should be judged not by the fact that it has changed, but rather by its response to change and the changing needs of its students.


Feuers is president of Los Angeles City College.

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