By: Daniel Compean
(Victorville)–– The Victor Valley College Foundation has started a Campaign for Classes to help bring more core classes to the 2013 – 2014 academic calendar. The Foundation’s goal is to raise $250,000 from May 1 to June 7, which will create 50 classes and serve 1,500 students.
With the recent down turn in the economy, California has chosen to balance the loss of revenue with cuts in various areas, particularly in education. VVC’s budget has been substantially reduced by the state which provides the majority of class funding to students. The state funds approximately 9,000 full time students, however VVC serves anywhere from 12,000 to 15,000 students. “Our thought is that we don’t have to be a victim. We have the opportunity to do something about that and that’s how the Campaign for Classes started,” said Executive Director for the VVC Foundation Ginger Ontiveros.
Several corporate sponsors have stepped forward to say they will sponsor a class. One of which is Valley Hi Auto Group which will be partnering with the VVC Foundation to park a vehicle in front of the Student Activities Center as a form of positive protest to California state budget cuts. During this time, a student, administrator or staff will occupy this vehicle at all times starting May 1 and ending June 7.
The Foundation has created a “Text to Give” program that will be going community wide as a way for students to get involved. A unique code is given that charges $10 on a cell phone bill which will go towards the Campaign for Classes.
The budget cuts are extending the time for students to complete their education at VVC. Students typically take a year and a half longer to get what would otherwise be a four year degree. It’s now currently taking students five and half to six years to complete their education. At the beginning of the spring semester of 2013, there were 7,667 students on waitlist that did not get into classes.
“(Students) are now ending up on long waitlists. At VVC, twenty students are allowed on a waitlist and potentially only five might get in to that class. So it discourages students at the same time to continue their education. We’re seeing an increase in students dropping out and that’s what we’re trying to avoid with this campaign,” said Assistant Director for the VVC Foundation Catherine Abbott.
The VVC Foundation raises money to allow the college to offer the classes that are most needed for students. VVC will determine this by the number of students who are waiting to get in to specific classes such as Math, English, or other classes necessary for transfer. The money the VVC Foundation raises will be helped through subsidies by the college itself.
“[VVC] is stretching resources as far as they can and currently are teaching many students for which they are not paid. They’re really jumping on board to make sure this is successful and that the money we raise is stretched as far as it can,” said Ontiveros
To help bring attention to the partnership between Valley Hi Auto Group and VVC Foundation the dealerships will be holding a large kick-off party on April 27th, between 12-4 p.m. Some of the highlights will include a High Desert Idol Reunion at Valley Hi Toyota/Scion beginning at 1:30 p.m. and an opportunity to be a firefighter for a day as well as other contests and activities at Valley Hi Honda, Nissan and Kia on the West side of the Freeway. El Dorado Broadcasters will broadcast live during the entire event at all dealerships.
For more information on the Campaign for Classes, students can visit the ASB office in the Student Activities Center or contact the Foundation office at (760) 245-4271 x 2522.