Final negotiations are underway to work out details such as financial aid, faculty salaries and staff vacation time for the Year-Round Operation taking effect this summer.
According to Harold Hellenbrand, CSUN provost, the California State University system and the California Faculty Association are in daily negotiations to fine-tune issues mainly regarding faculty salary, but said CSUN has been ready for months to go ahead with year-round classes.
The YRO will basically operate as another term with similar activity on campus as in a regular semester, Hellenbrand said. It will probably be one 12-week session, or two six-week sessions, or a combination of both, he said.
The time needed to make up for what is lost in a 12-week session in comparison to a regular semester, will be made up with longer class time, much like a summer terms in the past, Hellenbrand said.
Students will see major change this summer term since the change will be gradual, Hellenbrand said. He said students will still register through extended learning for this summer’s term, but the registration process will change starting the 2006 summer term.
“This coming summer (students will still go through) extended learning for the students’ sake, because it was short notice for them,” Hellenbrand said.
Heather Quintana, communication studies major who will be transferring to CSUN this fall, said she was planning on attending summer session to get a head start, but did not know changes were being made to the summer program.
Quintana said she decided to wait on summer school to find out what classes she really needed and preferred not to pay almost the same as a normal semester during her summer vacation.
“This new term can be a good or bad thing,” she said. “Not getting anymore money for it and the fact that it costs the same as spring and fall (are) problems, but if they are increasing the time to allow for a slower pace and more classes available, then I can see the good in it.”
Students will be paying the same fees as in the regular spring and fall semesters, which is not much of a difference from what they have paid in a regular summer term, Hellenbrand said.
According to Hellenbrand, financial aid is still something being worked out, but students will mainly have the option of spreading the aid throughout the three terms.
Although it would be ideal that students receive more financial aid, it does not look promising because the money is delivered on a yearly basis, so spreading it out may be students’ only option, Hellenbrand said.
Manuel Tovar, junior business major, said he has never attended summer session due to the cost.
“I’m sure they have their good reasons for making these changes, but the money is going to be a problem, and there should be more help available to students who choose to spend their summer in school,” Tovar said.
Hellenbrand agreed that the costliness of attending the summer term along with financial aid discrepancies will continue to be a problem for many students.
“I think the issue (of financial aid) is always there,” Hellenbrand said. “I see it as being part of the old problem.”
Another item currently being worked on is the issue of staffing during the summer term, a time when staff members take vacation, Hellenbrand said. He said they are looking into hiring and arranging vacation time.
“We’ll have to hire more people, but we need more money,” he said. “It will be logistically possible, but it will be difficult.”
As far as faculty, they will have the choice to teach during the added summer term and there are currently enough for this term, Hellenbrand said.