Yuba College students returning to campus this fall might notice a difference while walking into the 100 building. The Transfer and Career Centers, visible cornerstones of the recently christened Yuba College One Stop Center, were cut after last spring, thanks to the slew of budget cuts that have hit educational institutions across California over the past year. “Many of our student services are mandated services,” said David Farrell, Dean of Student Services. “Unfortunately, the Career Center had no external mandate. Every other student service we had at the time had a mandate, and the Career Center had to be placed at the lowest priority as a result.” “With the Transfer Center, we have a counselor willing to work on it for the time being,” continued Farrell. “She has scheduled all our ongoing visits with the reps from CSU Sacramento, CSU Chico and UC Davis.” The counselor Farrell spoke of is Helen Nickolson, who had co-ordinated the Transfer Center for 2 years previous to the budget cuts. “We’ve sent out a flyer with the dates the UC and CSU reps will be coming to Yuba College, and also the dates of the workshops we’re offering, to all students with 30 or more transferable units,” said Nickolson. “It’ll miss some students, but the question is, ‘How do you reach a large amount of students on a limited budget?’ So we’re trying to pick up the slack that way, but I don’t know how effective that’ll be.” “It all comes down to the fact that we have no budget, so the counselors try to pick up where we can,” continued Nickolson. “It’s a critical need, and there’s no one out there.” Compensation for the loss of the Career Center is done by enrollment into a career planning course. “As students express interest (in career counseling), we enroll them in Counseling 45, which is a career planning course,” said Farrell. “We’re substituting for the process Alice Eppler put them through. Another function of the career center was Career Assessment, and the Testing Center is picking up that function. The computers in the center still have Eureka, which is an interactive career exploration program.” Vice President of Student Services, Paul Mendoza, explained the current function of the Career Center. “The Career Center, in respect to resources, is still there,” said Mendoza, “the Eureka software system is still there. Students have access through different sites, and they can use the search engines on the Career Center computers to research careers. What’s missing is the Career Technician, who was reduced to meet budget consideration.””According to Title V and the Education code, to receive apportionment of funds you must have certain functions,” continued Mendoza. “Career research is not a required service, although we would want that to be properly staffed.”
The full effects of the closing of the centers is not fully known at this time, because it is still early in the semester.
“The effect is not so visible at the moment because this is an off-time,” added Farrell, “but it will be evident as the semester progresses.”
“The challenge is that the district wants to maintain some level of support, but we can’t do it all,” said Mendoza. “We did identify certain functions that are still needed to be performed. We still provide a little bit for students and the community without the position we no longer have.”