For a nation that has a goal of having 8 million more college graduates by 2020, we sure do make it tough for students to get an education. Community college students in California looking to gain some new job skills or get some general education credits out of the way before transferring to a four-year university are having to put their dreams on ice due to massive class waitlists. According to an informal survey by the California Community Chancellor’s Office a whopping 472,349 students are currently waitlisted.
How did California's community college system, the largest in the nation, get to this point? Three years of budget cuts have gutted more than $809 million from an already cash-strapped system. That means scores of faculty members have been laid off, resulting in axed course sections. The number of class sections available is down 24 percent from the 2008-2009 school year and remaining classes are jam-packed and have lengthy waitlists.