California Educator

MARCH 2010

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Tough times at Lake Tahoe Community College Alex Mellon can’t believe it, but he actually misses doing homework for chemistry class. Homework assignments helped him learn the material, says the 36-year-old student who once made his living as a photographer and even taught photo classes at the college. His chemistry professor, Martin Wal- lace, has seen chemistry enrollment in- crease by 94 percent over the past five years, although there is still only one full-time chemistry in- structor. So homework went by the wayside. His classes now pack 70 or more students into a room. “My grading is up 75 percent; off- hour e-mail questions are up 75 percent; and students dropping by during my of- fice hours are up by 75 percent over the past few years,” says Wallace, a member of the Lake Tahoe Community College Faculty Association (LTCCFA). “Every- thing requires a lot more time these days.” Layoffs and cuts have left faculty and students at the smal l community college reel- ing, says LTCCFA Presi- dent Scott Lukas. Last spring, 25 part-time ed- ucators lost their jobs, resulting in about 100 class sections being cut. Many stu- dents can’t enroll in the classes they need to graduate. Mellon, for example, would like to fulfill his pre-nursing re- quirements and transfer to another col- lege to receive his RN degree, but finds himself at a standstill. “I need to take chemistry, anatomy and physiology,” he says. “There used to be a lot of night classes, but they are gone.” Class sections are reduced, but en- rollment is at an all-time high due to the poor economy and job layoffs, says Lu- kas, an anthropology professor. Many who have lost their jobs in the tourist 22 California Educator | MARCH 2010

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