First Week of Spring 2009 Semester

full parking lot and smiling students

Enrollment at Mt. San Jacinto Community College was up 20 percent over the same period last year as students arrived on campuses for the first day of the spring semester on Jan. 26.

Many classes, like math, English and science, were full, and parking spaces nearest classrooms were at a premium.

Students Lizeth Ruvalcaba and Pedro Aceves headed toward the outer parking areas on the San Jacinto Campus this week.

“There’s usually two or three cars” in the outer lots, Lizeth said. “There’s never this many cars. Now it’s full.”

Both students said they were aware that as the economy weakens and job losses continue, more people are heading back to community colleges.

MSJC’s rising enrollment brought the district wide unduplicated headcount to 16,200 for the semester as of Jan. 26.

MSJC’s Temecula Education Complex, which first opened in spring 2008 with about 200 students, started the spring semester with nearly 2,000 students.

Enrollment increased by more than 68 percent in the San Gorgonio Pass area, where the college opened a service center and increased its course offerings at Beaumont and Banning high schools. Unduplicated headcount in the Pass is 182 as of Jan. 26.

The first official census date, which is used by the state California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office as the official student count, is Feb. 17. In 2007-08, the district served 22,894 individual students for the year.

Students may still add classes up to Feb. 6, but since many classes are already full, officials urge students to select alternative classes or locations. An open class list is online at or in the Eagle Access Centers on the San Jacinto or Menifee Valley campuses. MSJC holds classes in Banning/Beaumont, San Jacinto, Menifee, Temecula and Lake Elsinore.

The last day to add a class is Feb. 6. The college also offers late-start classes, community education courses and other programs to earn certificates to help get ahead in careers, receive transfer credits to 4-year universities or to enhance interests and hobbies.