Trustees hold special meeting to explain program error

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LOOKING AHEAD: Dr. Kathy Hart, president/superintendent of Delta College, speaks at the close of the meeting on Feb. 26 inside the Atherton Auditorium. PHOTO BY BRIAN RATTO

Delta College Board of Trustees held a special meeting on February 26 regarding an over reporting of Full Time Equivalent students (FTE).

FTEs are a tool used by college and universities to measure the enrollment level of full time students to earn funding from the State of California.

LOOKING AHEAD:  Dr. Kathy Hart, president/superintendent of Delta College, speaks at the close of the  meeting on Feb. 26 inside the Atherton Auditorium. PHOTO BY BRIAN RATTO
LOOKING AHEAD: Dr. Kathy Hart, president/superintendent of Delta College, speaks at the close of the meeting on Feb. 26 inside the Atherton Auditorium. PHOTO BY BRIAN RATTO

A FTE Student is a student enrolled in 15 units in a semester or 30 units during year, according to Matt Wetstein, Dean of Planning, Research and Regional Development.

“We need to remain calm and rational there is no need to speculate or to panic,” said Kathy Hart President/ Superintendent of  Delta College, at the opening of the meeting, “there is no one to blame in this situation.”

In early January there was a miscalculation of the FTEs to the California Community College Chancellors Office.

“We can weather this issue without cutting instruction and classes, as well as continue to do the deferred maintenance,” said Elizabeth Maloney, Delta College’s California Teachers Association President and Psychology Professor.

The calculation of contact hours in partial hour classes is the cause for this over reporting.

The hour and a half long course that meets on the Tuesday, Thursday schedule are partial hour classes.
“[In 2012] there was a programming change that started to estimate and add into the hour and a half long course what’s called the passing period,” said Wetstein.

The calculation error was counting the ten-minute passing period as instruction time, which over counted the number of student contact hours in the reporting of the FTES.

“We don’t know the true fiscal impact,” said Wetstein, “we can present the estimated FTES impact.”

The estimated impact for the 2012-13 school year is $181,345, and an estimated $2.138 million impact for the 2013-14 school year.

According to Wetstein, Delta can resolve the issue with the help of an independant auditing firm and the chancellors office.

“We need your support and cooperation to help with this issue,” said Hart at the close of the meeting, “[We] hope you will share idea’s for raising enrollment for the 2015-16 school year.”