California Community College Survey: Nearly Half Of Students Closed Out Of Classes

Almost half of community college students in California reported being unable to enroll in courses because classes were full -- nearly twice the rate of community college students nationwide, according to a survey recently released by the Pearson Foundation.

The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Pearson, and asked a nationally representative sample of 1,434 students and former students aged 18 to 59 to evaluate their experiences at community college. Of those surveyed, 260 were enrolled in the California community college system.

Notable survey findings include:

• 47 percent of California students, compared with 28 percent of students nationally, could not enroll in a class because it was full

• Nearly 33 percent of California students had a hard time enrolling for mandatory courses in Fall 2010, compared with 17 percent of all students surveyed

• 41 percent of California students said they enrolled in fewer classes than they had initially intended, compared with 28 percent of all students surveyed

• 65 percent of students in California said they valued access to academic advisors, while only 55 percent of all respondents said the same

• 41 percent of California students valued relationships with other students, compared with 31 percent of all respondents

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that, according to California Community College System Chancellor Jack Scott, unique aspects of the state's system, like its large size and low tuition, exacerbate students' problems. "Many, many students come to us and can't find the classes they need," Scott said to the assembly's budget subcommittee in February. "We're as popular as we've ever been."

See Pearson for more results.

Are you a community college student? How do your experiences compare to the surveyed students? Share your story in the comments section.