Students are juggling more classes each semester at Cuesta College because of continual cuts to course offerings.
The fall semester starts Monday with 50 fewer class sections and reduced staffing because of state budget cuts.
Enrollment remains consistent with last year despite the fewer classes offered in various subjects.
Students are registering for heavier course loads knowing there are fewer sections available, said Cathleen Greiner, assistant superintendent and vice president of academic affairs.
Cuesta College hopes to reach a 4,250 full-time equivalent student count for the fall semester.
Enrollment was at 3,744 full-time equivalent student count as of Monday, making the total student body, including part-time students, about 9,388 students. That number is expected to grow through the end of the week as students continue to sign up for classes. The last day to register for courses without instructor approval is Friday.
In May, Cuesta’s Board of Trustees approved $2.9 million in budget cuts for the 2011-12 fiscal year by permanently reducing the hours of 43 non-teaching workers and reducing class loads of about 70 part-time faculty. Five people were laid off.
Greiner said the cuts have not lowered enrollment.
“What this really does is impact a student’s ability to complete their educational goals in the same time frame that they might have planned,” Greiner said. “That is why we are seeing more students trying to fill up their schedule and take more units at one time.”
Cuesta restored its summer school this year to boost enrollment after eliminating the majority of its summer term in the 2010 school year to save money.
However, the number of students who enrolled in the fall semester declined when Cuesta took away the summer term, prompting the college to bring it back.
Greiner said summer enrollment exceeded expectations and will give an added boost to enrollment this fall.
Cuesta College is hosting an event called Connect@Cuesta for first-time students today from 1 to 6 p.m. at the campus on Highway 1 outside San Luis Obispo.
Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. Students will be introduced to various campus resources and shown around campus. For details, call Sabrina Robertson at 546-3100, ext. 2533.
Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.