COSTA MESA — Vance Longarini moved 250 miles this summer to attend Orange Coast College. The Paso Robles resident planned to study business administration and get into "the hotel game."
But when he got here, there was no room for him in algebra or in introduction to business. Like 12,000 other OCC students, Longarini must wait for an open seat in the classes he will need.
"It just feels like I'm in a holding pattern," said Longarini, 18. "The airplane is going around and around, and it's wasting a lot of time and a lot of gas."
Enrollment numbers have risen at community colleges statewide. As the economic downtown prompts legions of unemployed to reinvent themselves, college-age students are having trouble getting the classes they need.
Kristin Clark, vice president of student services, said OCC classes are 96% full.
"It's happening as a result of increased demand and a lack of resources to meet the demand," Clark said.