PHOTO & STORY BY PIXIE IWATA
Community colleges are finally seeing a positive light after facing a heavy drop in enrollment since 2019 due to Covid-19 and all of the uncertainties it has brought to the world.
In a study conducted by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, enrollment in community colleges has dropped 3.4% since Spring 2020.
Preceding the Spring semester, there was worry that student enrollment at Cypress College would fall once again due to the spread of the Omicron variant.
On Feb. 8, 2022, JoAnna Schilling, President of Cypress College, released a report to the NOCCC District Board of Trustees based on the first three weeks of this semester.
With over 2,500 students back on campus, the board anticipates “27% of our classes will be fully on-campus this semester, 13% delivered in a hybrid modality, and 60% will remain online” Schilling said in her board report.
Although 60% of students continue to be on Zoom, many hands-on programs now have classes held on campus. Some of those being from the Fine Arts, Health Sciences, STEM, Kinesiology/Athletics, and CTE departments.
These classes seemingly had a small rise in enrollment this semester compared to when the pandemic started. Students became more eager to be back in person, even if they had to be on Zoom for the first two weeks.
Magdalena Oliveros, a Psychology major, spoke about her opinion on how this spring semester is going with her in person classes.
“I think I was cautious of the idea of going back (to school)… I think the campus did a good job in trying to get it to open in a safe manner while still trying to give us the best education we can receive” said Oliveros.
With student excitement for the new semester, classes being taught in person have experienced new hope after a long two years of uncertainty.
Tony Maher, the head of the Photography department at Cypress College, talks about how classes have been going this far into the semester.
“This is one of the best semesters I’ve had at Cypress College,” Maher explains, “Students are excited to be back in person and to have access to these classes. Analog has become really popular again, and people are excited to have access to (the darkroom) again.”
Although Covid-19 still affects how the campus is run, there is still hope and excitement for this next semester.