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SRJC enrollment drops

Enrollment at Santa Rosa Junior College dropped again this semester, declining more than 11 percent from the prior spring.

Nearly 26,480 students were attending classes at SRJC as of Tuesday, down from 29,880 at the same time last year and from 31,070 in the spring of 2010.

The biggest reductions have come at the expense of the school's noncredit programs, whose enrollment has dropped by half in two years.

But even the school's credit classes, which have generally been better protected during the economic downturn, took a hit. This spring 23,151 students were enrolled in credit classes at SRJC, down 7.5 percent from last year.

The decline stems from cuts to course offerings made in response to state budget reductions. This spring the number of sections of credit classes at SRJCis down 8.7 percent. Meanwhile, the number of noncredit classes is down nearly 39 percent.

Course offerings may only get slimmer in the fall.

The school has to plan for another potential cut in funding, not knowing whether Gov. Jerry Brown's tax measure will pass in November, said Doug Roberts, SRJC's vice president of business services.

"Our business cycle is such that we cannot wait until November to schedule courses," Roberts said, likening the school's position to preparing for a potential flood. "You have to sandbag ahead of time."


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