More students taking pre-collegiate classes at Bakersfield College, leads to drop outs

Students in pre-collegiate at BC not graduating

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - School may not be in session yet, but students are already finding out they’re behind.

“I just took an assessment which I did not do very good,” Jeff Brannon said.

Brannon had just taken the Bakersfield College placement test and found out he has to take extra pre-collegiate courses.

Brannon is going back to school to improve his life after a 15 year break.  “I just wanted to get a better future. I was stuck at a dead-end job for like five years and I decided it was time to go back to school,” Brannon said.

These extra classes are something many student are registering for. “They’re to bring a student’s level of understanding of English and Math up to collegiate levels,” Amber Chiang, Public Relations at Bakersfield College said.

More basic classes mean an extra year of study and 20 units which equate to more time and money that could keep a student from graduating.

“When community colleges were designed, it was for two years and we’re not seeing that anymore,” Chiang said.

Chiang said that of a group of students that enrolled in 2008, only 34 percent completed a course of study by 2014.

The need for pre-collegiate classes is evident at BC. Of the 1,500 courses, 200 of them are remedial classes.

“So that does show there is a significant need in the community for pre-collegiate work,” Chiang said.

Some students, like Paula Anaya, say they have not seen students in need of these classes. “No I haven’t, I haven’t heard that at all.” She also said she scored low on the test in high school and is in her third year at BC.

“So when I came straight here all I had to do was take the assessment and wherever I scored that’s what I had to register for,” Anaya said.

Right now a unit costs about $46 so an extra 20 units would be almost $1,000. In the grand scheme of college costs, it looks like a drop in the bucket and Brannon wasn’t surprised by it.

“No, not really, I was a bonehead in English and Math in high school so…” Brannon said.

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