Published May 5, 2022

To the Shasta College Community:

Happy Cinco de Mayo! We are already in May and the end of the semester is in sight.  It will be exciting to hold our commencement ceremony on May 20th.  Celebrating our students’ success is so important for our community.

Success Stories
First I’d like to congratulate our Excellent Educators selected by their peers for this year. The 2022 Excellent Educators are Leo Fong (Full-time) and Desislava Padeva-Farzic (Part-time).  Thank you for your great service to our students!  A video presentation can be viewed here.

Next, I recently received a thank you note from a parent in our community.  This story is just one of thousands of stories that I am sure could be shared if we knew them all.  This parent basically thanked us for being true to our advertising.  They were vacationing in our area when they saw a flyer for our course offerings around logging.  His son moved to Redding to take our truck driving program and has successfully obtained his Class A license and now has a great job with Sierra Pacific Industries.  Thank you to all involved for making this story a reality.

Finally, North State Together has a nice mention near the end of this recent article in EdSource (a state-wide publication) about the struggles of declining enrollment in some of our rural Northern California schools.  

And for some Business updates…

The Governor is expected to release his May Revise for the proposed 2022-23 State budget by May 13.  Various reports have been coming out demonstrating that the State continues to be significantly ahead of projections in revenue collections for this fiscal year, and ahead of what the Governor assumed in his initial budget proposal in January. We should expect significant investments into K-12 and higher education to be included in his May Revision, although I do expect a large portion of this to continue to be one-time in nature.   On-going proposals should also be significant, as the Senate signaled recently in proposing a $700 million on-going base increase for the community college system.  The Statutory COLA calculation was also released recently, at 6.56%, higher than the 5.33% included in the Governor's January proposal.  This reflects the highest inflation levels our nation has seen in the last 40 or so years.  During this time of plenty, it is important to note the drop in the stock market since the start of the year.  A very large portion of the State's revenues come from personal income tax, which is largely dependent on capital gains taxes and higher income tax on the wealthiest Californians.  Should the markets stay down this year, it likely will be signaling lower revenues for 2023 for the State.  As the revenues for the State go, the required investment into K-12 and Community College funding goes. A silver lining is that the State will have much more in its rainy day funds than ever before - somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 billion - which will help soften the reaction to the next recession.  As the various economists say when asked when the next recession will come, it may not be this year or next year, but one will come. 

Enrollment for summer currently is a little ahead of this time last year.  Enrollment for Fall and Spring has slightly trailed last year by a few percentage points.  I believe there are many reasons for this, but am hopeful that summer may indicate the turning point in re-engaging our communities in enrolling in courses. One interesting thing that I observe in our data is that even though our enrollment numbers are down, our success metrics in the funding formula (degree and certificates granted, transfers, etc.) appear to only be slightly lower or remain the same as before the pandemic.  This tells me that the students we lost tend in the pandemic tend to be those who struggle the most when they do come to us. This will be a major challenge for us: as we work to gain back enrollment, we will need to focus more than ever on helping students persist and complete.

I encourage us all to help our students through the end of the semester – keep encouraging them to complete and finish strong.  I look forward to seeing many of you at graduation in two weeks.  Thanks once again for all your excellent work!

Joe Wyse
Shasta-Tehama-Trinity Joint Community College District
11555 Old Oregon Trail
Redding, CA 96049-6006