Ruling Allows CSU to Offer “Self-supported” Summer Sessions
A ruling this week in a case heard in Superior Court in Alameda County will allow the California State University campuses to proceed to offer “self-supported” summer sessions rather than having to use limited state funds to provide the classes or eliminate the summer sessions.
Petitioners from Cal State East Bay, Los Angeles, San Marcos and Stanislaus sought to require the CSU to reinstate state-supported summer sessions, which would have required the campuses to redirect funding from the regular academic year when the most students are enrolled. The plaintiffs asserted that self-supported summer classes “supplant” or replace classes that are offered in a state-supported session.
“We appreciate the court’s recognition that allowing the CSU to offer self-support summer classes is the best way to serve students during these times of severe budget cuts,” said CSU General Counsel Christine Helwick. “Most of our campuses will provide courses on a self-support basis for those wishing to continue their studies during the summer.”
Over the past two years, the CSU has had $625 million cut from its budget and has had to limit student enrollment and implement other measures to manage the budget reductions. Rather than cut enrollment for fall 2010 further, most CSU campuses plan to offer self-support summer sessions instead of using limited funds for a state-supported summer session. The elimination of state-supported summer and intersession courses, which have much lower enrollments than the regular academic term, was one of the most reasonable options campuses could implement to educate as many students as possible with fewer resources.
Most students will pay fees in the self-support sessions roughly equivalent to the state support level. A small number of summer school students who take more than 10 units will experience an increase, but the cost variances are minimal. In addition, financial aid awards are generally provided to CSU students on an annual basis and will be available for the self-supported summer session.