CSU Stanislaus' Stockton campus feels empty

6:06 PM, Apr 14, 2010   |    comments
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California State University, Stanislaus, Stockton campus

STOCKTON, CA - There was a time, years ago, when Californioa State University, Stanislaus classes at its Stockton facility were very well attended.  Times have definitely changed.

On a recent afternoon, video shot by News10 showed just one student taking part in two different classes.  A large computer lab sat completely empty.

"It's been gradual over the years because of CSU budget cuts.  They can't get the classes they want and they suffer for it," said Stockton site director Terry Barnhart.

CSU, Stanislaus has offered classes in Stockton since the 1970s, but established a more prominent presence in 1998 at the old state hospital.  Though many classes were offered by video line, from professors based in Turlock, the student body was about 2,000 people.

These days, with class offerings cut in half, enrollment is at about the 750 mark.

"I think we were on a good path and an economic disaster hit and the whole campus had to step back, re-balance and try to hang on.  That's what we're doing: hanging on," said university business and finace director Russ Giambelluca.

Students like Marybeth Kozina still like the convenience of going to school in the city where they live.

"It's just easier to come here rather than go to Turlock.  I have a 3-year-old in preschool and if something happens, I'm just down the street," Kozina said.

Giambelluca said the university is committed to a long presence at the Stockton location.  He said it's a matter of determining the classes students want.

"We're not giving up on it.  I haven't seen any indications we want to back away.   There's a lot of change in Stockton and we're trying to anticipate it, what jobs are needed and what education is needed," said Giambelluca.

By tdaly@news10.net

News10/KXTV

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