A projection by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) shows that 40,000 students more than the current number will expect to receive an education from the Virginia college system come 2012, but there’s just not the capacity to handle them. One thousand of those will expect to go to PVCC. Melanie Mayhew wrote in yesterday’s Daily Progress:
Demand projections indicate that nearly 1,000 additional students will want to enroll by 2012 at Piedmont Virginia Community College, which President Frank Friedman believes the college cannot accommodate without additional state funding.
“We would love to educate all of those students, but the state must fund our capacity so we can accept all of those students,” he said. “The handwriting is on the wall. In 2012, we’re going to have thousands of students turned away unless the state takes action now. More and more Virginians will be squeezed out of higher education.”
Although PVCC will be able to accommodate all of its 4,300 students this fall, steadily climbing enrollment figures will limit students’ choice of classes and class times, Friedman said.
I can say, having just graduated from Virginia Tech in May, that overcrowding is currently a tremendous problem. Our class sizes were limited not by the number of seats, but by the fire marshall, who began to audit classrooms to determine how many students could safely sit on the steps, stand in the aisles, and peek through the doorway. Freshmen are told at orientation that it will take five years to graduate, because there’s not enough room in the classes that they need.
I figure that we need to either increase funding or limit growth. If there’s another solution, I don’t see it.