The Board of Trustees tossed out a much-needed winter intersession in August 2012 and replaced it with a trimester system. The college’s spring and summer sessions have had to change names and fake official starting dates in order to fool CSU and UC admissions.

The results? Chaos and a calendar that has yet to prove itself successful.

Angry students rightfully became impatient after waiting hours in line to enroll in classes for Extended Spring in the April 8 Black Monday madness. Frightened registration clerks fled their posts after feeling threatened and all the administration could do was attempt to reassure that this, too, shall pass.

26,000 students would have been able to compete for classes on Lancerlink in a more organized fashion, but the lack of priority registration overloaded the antiquated system. At a rate of 2 million hits per hour, Lancerlink failed.

“My first problem was that there was no priority for [registration] when it’s supposed to be used for people who need to get out and need to transfer,” said Brandon Grainger, a criminal justice student who took part in the hectic registration process.

Students missed classes, work, and wasted time all because PCC’s administration would rather run a college like a company.

In a press conference held March 26, President Mark Rocha insisted that not having a winter intersession was better for students because starting and stopping the school year is a handicap to students, especially those who are on the remedial level of English and math. The most significant improvement – and the apparent primary benefit of the cancellation of winter – is the increase of persistence, he said.

“A big stoppage in the calendar doesn’t help,” said Rocha. “The longer gap you have in the calendar, the more students you lose from fall and spring.”

However, because of the complicated calendar situation, students who couldn’t get Extended Spring classes or never planned on taking any classes after spring will roughly have a four-month break with no classes.

At an emergency meeting held the same day Extended Spring registration opened, Senior Vice President Robert Bell said that because spring semester was still underway, Lancerlink’s outdated system would not allow for priority registration to be done a second time during the same semester.

“I was told we couldn’t schedule a second priority registration period. We did seek that out,” he said.

If there had been a winter session, spring and summer would have begun in Feb. and June like normal. Priority registration wouldn’t have been a problem to begin with. The registration fiasco could have been avoided if the calendar had been left alone. The Board and administrators tried to fix something that was never broken.

Until change occurs and trust in the administration can be rebuilt, students are reduced to threatening registration clerks and fleeing an institution that they all thought was focused on student success.


3 Replies to “OP-ED: Registration fiasco is the result of no winter”

  1. In all fairness, could someone please report on why the loss of winter session is such a tragedy to the entire college? Much of the current animosity toward the college’s president seems to be personal and petty. There are those of us who are enjoying the new extended Spring and would like to see how it works out. And on the subject of the president’s “cronies”, could you be a little more specific and descriptive? Otherwise it all seems like a personal gripe. Are there any specific issues that the majority of the school is missing? Does the larger body of enrolled students have any gripes or lack of confidence in the administration?

    1. Manier, go read the Courier Back issues.
      There’s a link right on this page.
      Winter was originally added to the PCC calendar after two years of hard work by the entire campus, and it works great. For reasons known only to them, a handful of clever PCC bosses killed Winter 2013 a snap decision ignoring the research and advice of the whole working campus. That’s called “violating Shared Governance,” and it’s a major screw-up.
      Cancelling Winter cancelled transfer chances for hundreds of students, and interrupted the studies of those in technical classes. Voting with their feet, thousands of students left PCC. With fewer students, PCC now gets less funding from Sacramento, and may even lose Prop 30 money!
      Making Summer a part of Spring screwed up registration for every single student on campus–no priority times, two day waits in line, classes lost to those wanting to graduate.

  2. “Black Monday madness” – quotable, if ever there was a quote.
    “… something that was never broken” – an astute insight, by one who knows.
    Truly exemplary, Ms. Roesler. And, an athlete, too.
    Who would have thunk?

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