There are two important considerations omitted from the story ("Classroom Space at a Premium," Times Valley Edition, June 30) concerning hordes of students unable to enroll in community college classes in the Valley because of overcrowding:
1. It is true that almost all of the general education courses in the community colleges fill early and are closed to latecomers. But of those students fortunate enough to enroll, the percentage who actually complete the classes is seldom more than 65%, and sometimes less than 50%. Most colleges try to compensate by overloading classes at the start of the semester. But by final exams time, most classes are nonetheless far under the maximum that could have been served.
There are ways to offset the effect of many students dropping some, or all, of their classes. The college could limit each returning student to enrolling in only the number of college credits passed the previous semester plus one course. Such a restriction would soon eliminate students who take up spaces in sought-after classes but are chronic dropouts.
2. Most community college classrooms are empty between 2 and 7 p.m. One could find a great many competent teachers to teach courses during those hours at minimum expense to the district. Part-time faculty work for a considerably smaller hourly wage than tenured faculty.
There is no question that the California Community Colleges need, and deserve, better funding. But it is time for all of the post-secondary education community to realize that the taxpayers of California, foolishly, are no longer willing to support the marvelous system of colleges and universities that has served our state so well.
M. STEPHEN SHELDON