Open Forum: Decline in Enrollment, Class Delivery Methods and More


Image from Fresno City College’s email to students about the upcoming open forum on Nov. 10.

Fresno City College President Carole Goldsmith and other faculty members held an open forum on Aug. 19, 2021 to discuss how Fresno City College has been affected by COVID-19 and more. 

Decline in Enrollment

Goldsmith said that the pandemic has caused an overall 9% decrease in FCC student enrollment from an 11%  growth over a 5-year period.

The decrease will have an impact, both in terms of FCC’s finances if a decrease continues, according to Goldsmith, who doesn’t seem to be concerned and is focusing on the economic health of the community.

Despite both graduating classes having a drop in enrollment, during spring 2020, FCC  held two in-person graduation ceremonies for the classes of 2020 and 2021 with a total of 4,301 graduates.

 “That’s because our students are dedicated and because you’re dedicated, in providing the services that you provide each and every day, whether it’s in person or virtual,” Goldsmith said. 

Class Delivery Method

35% of classes have been brought back to in-person and hybrid and 65% are still virtual.

200 classes are currently on campus for the fall 2021 semester. This includes some of the fine performing arts classes and some general education classes.

The automotive program, welding program, nursing program, rad tech, respiratory, and athletics have in-person classes.

Goldsmith said for the spring 2022 semester, FCC will follow colleges across the state with hopes of 70% face-to-face and 30% online. One-third of students requested virtual, over face-to-face, she said. 

Only 38% male gender are enrolling in college fall 2021 which is relatively low from the 45% in the fall 2020 on a sheet shared by Goldsmith during the open forum.

Services will be provided to young men so they can successfully return to FCC.

Jaime Duran from FCC Veterans Department will be one of the few providing services to young men.

Masks are required regardless of vaccination status in all buildings.

FCC will continue to keep the mask mandate in effect until it’s safe to remove, Goldsmith said.

Vaccination Importance

A large percentage of people who have other health care issues and the unvaccinated are who have been impacted most by COVID-19, according to Goldsmith.

Goldsmith encourages students at FCC to take advantage of the $250 bookstore voucher using their ASB card and proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Vouchers are extended until Sept. 24, 2021.

Virtual Support for Students

According to three-week-old data shared in the open forum, Counseling and Student Services made over 41,000 calls to students; 25,000 student appointments during the pandemic and 14,000 calls to students offering encouragement and support. 

FCC’s Extreme Registration appointments had 2,200 virtual and 795 in-person. However, the numbers are much higher now, Goldsmith said. 

“We’re offering words of encouragement to keep those students on the path keeping them focused on what’s important, helping them, they need services, this is so critical and it’s not just a counselor’s job,” she said.

Emergency Aid

The FCC Financial Aid Office awarded approximately $16.8 million in emergency aid during the pandemic directly to students, according to Goldsmith

$5.7 million in the first round under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,, $5.7 million under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and a third round of $1.5 million under the American Rescue Plan.

Goldsmith said there is over $21 million in emergency aid remaining and to be awarded to students over the next two years.

Psychological Services Fall 21

FCC Psychological Services will have services on campus Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 8 a.m. – 5p.m.

Telehealth services are Tuesday and Friday from 8 a.m. – 5p.m.

The best way to refer students is through FCC Psychological Services and ask to complete the online-in-take form. Upcoming events, community resources, crisis resources and educational materials can also be found.

FCC completed 48 talking and healing circles between June 2020 and July 2021.

The next Healing circle will be virtually on Sept. 14, 2021, at 3 p.m. addressing the new court ruling for the DACA students.

Examples of talking circle topics include COVID-19, social justice inequality, DACA and wildfires.

Health and wellness services are available for both the staff and students at FCC.

Virtual Support for FCC Staff and Faculty

Campus Stress Reduction Program is providing front line training support, proactive self care coaching and campus-wide stress reduction sessions. More opportunities about yoga and meditation will be coming, according to Goldsmith

FCC will also have the RAM Racial Equity Lab, which provides opportunities for staff to engage in equity focused professional development throughout the fall 21 semester. 

REL is open to all staff and faculty including non-instructional faculty.  

New Employment Equity Academy had about 25 new employees in 2020, and about 55 new employees as of fall 2021, Goldsmith said.

Employee Assistance Program

According to Goldsmith, the Employee Assistance Programs where an employee can talk to someone 24 hours a day, everyday, for FCC employees. Goldsmith said the State Center Community College District pays %100 of the premium.

“I’ve taken advantage of these myself, there should be no stigma on this, we all need to talk to somebody sometimes,” she said.

For more information, staff should call 559-243-7100 or email [email protected]

COVID-19 Testing

Testing Center in the FCC Faculty and Staff main dining.

Appointments can be made online by registering.

Ram Pantry Fall 21 Hours of Operation

  • Tuesday 9 a.m. – noon
  • Wednesday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Thursday from 9 a.m. – noon

Rental Assistance Services

FCC is providing rental assistance programs to help FCC students.

Students can reach out to Robert Pimentel, vice president of educational services & institutional effectiveness, in the FCC Student Learning Support Services department for more information.

Darren Cousineau, SCCCD Director of Environmental Health and Risk Management speaks on COVID-19 Mitigation.

According to Cousineau, the SCCCD and FCC have been engaged in various mitigation measures over the past 16 months.

Actions included implementing mandates like social distancing,  to reduce the density of employees in the workplace, he said.

Cousineau said out of caution and tracking the statistics, Goldsmith and Cousineau looked over routinely from county partners, and felt as “a district” it was necessary to protect the students and employees by mandating masks for inside buildings and recommending everyone wear them outside.

 “We’re doing all this to protect not only our campus but also the community at large,” he said.

Other mitigation measures were maximizing the fresh air intake in HR systems throughout the SCCCD, particularly in this case FCC, he said.

Cousineau said testing strategies and potential vaccine mandates are being discussed.

The board of directors meeting on Aug. 20, 2021, at 1 p.m. to evaluate and decide on whether vaccines will be required for all employees and all students, with exceptions for medical and religious purposes.