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The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

Researching The Past May Not Be In The Future for Some FCC Students

Photo by: Jesus Herrera
Fresno City College Anthropology Museum holds many artifacts and art pieces used to display a wide range of cultures from across the world. As of April 29, 2024, the museum is still closed for public visits.

Fresno City College will no longer offer all but one of its archaeology courses in the next academic year. This eliminates the ability for students to earn an archaeological technician certificate of achievement from the State Center Community College District.

According to FCC Public Information Officer Kathy Bonilla, these changes were made this semester due to low enrollment in the archaeology program. She said that enrollment was particularly low in Laboratory Methods in Archaeology (ANTHRO-15) and Field Archaeology (ANTHRO-16).

“It has become clear to Fresno City College that the future of archaeology classes needs to be thoroughly assessed,” Bonilla said in an email to The Rampage.

Archaeology is part of the anthropology department in the social sciences division at FCC. Statistics from the college’s department of institutional research show that enrollment numbers have been decreasing since around 2013-14.

The chart above shows the dashboard’s enrollment numbers for each archeology class offered during the fall and spring semesters. These numbers can count the same student multiple times if they take multiple archeology classes during the same semester. No stats have been released for the fall 2023 semester during the time of writing.

These enrollment trends are reflected in the number of archaeological technician certificates awarded.

During the 2022-23 academic year, the college awarded three archaeological technician certificates, breaking a nearly five-year hiatus since the last awards in 2016-17, where only one student received the certification.

Currently, FCC has no plans to reopen the certificate or offer additional archaeology classes for students in the future.

“These courses are mirrored at transfer institutions and are available to students there,” Bonilla said.

Mohit Narr, a cultural anthropology major at FCC, disagrees with this decision.

“It feels like a business decision rather than a student decision,” Narr said.

He also believes that this will reduce interest in the study as a whole. The closest options for a similar certificate are hours away in areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

An anthropology student at FCC, who wished to be unnamed, said the certificate enables students to start working in the industry, much like other trade certificates in fields like automotive and welding technology.

“Imagine being a 20-year-old kid getting your archaeology certificate, and then being able to go work in New York for a summer, fully paid and housing funded,” the student said.

Bonilla also cited staff changes as a contributing factor to this decision. German Loffler, the only professor of archaeology at Fresno City College, will not be returning in the fall.

His departure impacts more than what classes are available. He also oversees both the archaeological collections and anthropology museum on campus.

Bonilla said staffing and programming plans are underway to reopen the FCC Museum of Anthropology to the public, but no date has been set.

“These efforts, which also included the artifacts in the college’s care, were undertaken in collaboration with local tribal groups,” Bonilla said.

The uncertainty around the program has left both students and Loffler confused and disappointed for the future.

“I’ve had several students ask me if they can get the archaeological certificate program. And I told them that I don’t know the future of that program because I don’t,” Loffler said.

The Rampage reached out to Dean of Social Sciences Cherylyn Crill-Hornsby for comment but did not receive a reply.

Self-Service shows that Intro to Archaeology (ANTHRO-4) will be the only archaeology course offered in the fall. Two sessions will be offered, one in-person at FCC and one online at Clovis Community College.

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About the Contributor
Jesus Herrera
Jesus Herrera, Editor-in-Chief
Jesus Herrera is the Editor in Chief at The Rampage for the spring 2024 semester at Fresno City College. This will be his fourth and final semester on the team. While also fulfilling his duties as EIC, Jesus still plans on growing his writing and photography skills throughout the semester. Born and raised in Fresno Jesus grew up on shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Spectacular Spider-man, and Justice League. These started his love for storytelling of all kinds and are the foundation of his belief that a story can have a huge impact on someone's life. To this day he is a big comic and manga fan with his current favorites being Kaiju No.8 and Invincible. Jesus has been going to Fresno City since 2019 but started his journalism major fall of 2022. He has also studied film and American sign language at Fresno City College with the ladder being his major prior to 2020.

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