Community College Selection Process-What A Joke!

  1. I am one of those middle-aged students who just applied for the Nursing Program at my local college. I was very careful to pick a college that based their selection process on merit. However, the local college I attend was forced by the Chancellor of the California Community College system to change the selection criteria for the Nursing program. Some of you know this new process as the lottery system. This happened well into the process of working on my Prereqs. Due to money considerations, it was immpossible for me to change colleges. I feared at the time that this new process would hurt me, because I have never been one of those who has benefited from chance drawings. My name was not picked during this so-called lottery. You see, under the old guidelines the top 7% went straight into the program. I made the the top 5%, however my academic achievement under the new system means nothing. I was forced to compete for a spot with all applicants who scored above 70%.
    Now please understand that I am well aware that some have many responsibilities outside of school. I am no different. I have someone who I care about very much who is an epileptic. She has never been under control. I have had many nights that I have spent in the ER rather than sleeping or studying. I have paid the price many times over to be where I am now. But I am getting close to fifty. And at this point, I am very emotionally tired. I really do fear that if I do not get in by the next semester, that I will not be able to finish my dream. I am very angry and dissapointed that this has happened to me. In fact, my longtime study partner was accepted and I cannot even talk to her because it upsets me knowing that she will be moving on without me. I do wish her the best but it is just too painful. But the thing that bothers me the most is that I am being told by this new process that my academic achievement means nothing.

    I have to admit, that even though I am a man I broke down and cried.


    I believe there is room for all types of selection processes in our state. But this new model is nothing but socialism. It rewards the many but penalizes those who achieve the most and some of us pay the ultimate cost. Please be aware that the Chancellor is trying to force this program on every single community college in the state.

    I just do not know where I am going to go from here.
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  2. 116 Comments

  3. by   mrscurtwkids4
    I had a bad experience with my community college that I started out at also. Where we were you couldn't even put in a change of curriculum request until you finish all of your pre-req's. Well, the day I got my grade for my chemistry course, I turned in my paperwork for the change of curriculum. Then they place you on the "waiting list". So in the mean time I was taking some other english and science courses and such. I decided to tutor some of the other students that were taking that chemistry course. While I was tutoring this pre-nursing student, she told me that she had received her letter of acceptance into the nursing program! I was dumbfounded trying to figure out how the heck she was able to be accepted when she shouldn't have even been able to put in for the change of curriculum. I had already been on the waiting list for the second semester. Basically, this ticked me off. So I put in an application for the the nursing program at my local university instead. That following fall, I got an acceptance letter into the university. So now I've got one more semester until graduation and I'll have my bachelor's decree instead of an associates. So I guess it worked out for the best in the end.

    Needless to say, I don't think it is good the systems that the community colleges use to pick and choose which students get into the program or not. I was a Phi Theta Kapa honor student while at the community college and graduated with a 2 year degree in independent studies. Sometimes I think circumstances like this happen for a reason. Just have to figure out where it's going to lead you. Good luck!!
  4. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from Tim1957
    I am one of those middle-aged students who just applied for the Nursing Program at my local college. I was very careful to pick a college that based their selection process on merit. However, the local college I attend was forced by the Chancellor of the California Community College system to change the selection criteria for the Nursing program. Some of you know this new process as the lottery system. This happened well into the process of working on my Prereqs. Due to money considerations, it was immpossible for me to change colleges. I feared at the time that this new process would hurt me, because I have never been one of those who has benefited from chance drawings. My name was not picked during this so-called lottery. You see, under the old guidelines the top 7% went straight into the program. I made the the top 5%, however my academic achievement under the new system means nothing. I was forced to compete for a spot with all applicants who scored above 70%.
    Now please understand that I am well aware that some have many responsibilities outside of school. I am no different. I have someone who I care about very much who is an epileptic. She has never been under control. I have had many nights that I have spent in the ER rather than sleeping or studying. I have paid the price many times over to be where I am now. But I am getting close to fifty. And at this point, I am very emotionally tired. I really do fear that if I do not get in by the next semester, that I will not be able to finish my dream. I am very angry and dissapointed that this has happened to me. In fact, my longtime study partner was accepted and I cannot even talk to her because it upsets me knowing that she will be moving on without me. I do wish her the best but it is just too painful. But the thing that bothers me the most is that I am being told by this new process that my academic achievement means nothing.

    I have to admit, that even though I am a man I broke down and cried.


    I believe there is room for all types of selection processes in our state. But this new model is nothing but socialism. It rewards the many but penalizes those who achieve the most and some of us pay the ultimate cost. Please be aware that the Chancellor is trying to force this program on every single community college in the state.

    I just do not know where I am going to go from here.
    Ok, your post broke my heart. Absolutely broke my heart.

    I wished I had a suggestion of what to do. I think the lottery system is THE most unfair system possible. I can promise you that there graduation rates will decrease because someone with bare-minimum requirements can get in, while the over-achievers sometimes do not.

    The Chancellor is a joke...the lottery system ONLY benefits the college because they can increase enrollment b/c students think they have an equal chance..and I am sure that is the driving force behind the lottery system.

    However, as a student I would NEVER waste my money on a school that used such a system.
  5. by   Sheri257
    Lottery systems do suck. No question about it. My school was supposed to go from lottery to a grade based system but ... they ended up dropping it for various reasons. From what I understand, the state board changed criteria to switch to a grade based system, and that made it more difficult.

    Another reason is: we live in an area where's it's fairly easy to commute to other jobs, and the local hospitals ... which support the school financially and otherwise ... suffer from it.

    They already require people to take a certain amount of pre-reqs at the college to try to ensure that they live here. But, if they raised the grade acceptance criteria, it would probably be even more difficult to get more students who live in the area into the program.

    So, what they did was raise the passing grade another five points instead of implementing grade acceptance criteria. The philosophy is to give students who live here a chance to get through the program, even though a lot of them have and will flunk out.

    I know ... it's completely political and screwed up ... but, this might explain why some schools go with the lottery system. In the case of my program, they're doing it, in large part, for the local hospitals.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Dec 3, '06
  6. by   phoenix72
    I know how you feel. Our Community college, also in California, has the same lottery process.and like you, I couldn't win a lottery if I were the only name in the box. To make it worse, our school will accept students from ANYWHERE, no residency preference. The outlying schools all have residency preference. What's happeining is that their students are applying to both schools and we are only able to apply to the one. Not fair. I won't go into how frustrated I am about it because I'll go on and on. It's infuriating! I spent years in a corporate job I hated and have just now been given the opportunity to return to school. I could go through our community college on grants and fee waivers but still never reach my goal of being a nurse because of this joke of a selection process. I've applied to enroll at our State University because their BSN program is GPA driven. If I get in, I'll have a BSN by the time it will have taken me to get an ASN at the CC. I've even looked into getting my CNA again and then taking an LVN program then a bridge program to RN. However, it's still a bone of contention for me that I should have to go to such extremes. All I can say to you is that you are not alone and the disappointment is shared by a lot of us. You WILL become a nurse if you put your mind to it. Push through and be determined. That will seperate you from the mediocre.
  7. by   puresass
    i'm so sorry to hear about your situation. it sounds so, so frustrating.

    my school has a no points, no priority wait list which can also be frustrating because the wait list is now two to three years long & good grades or past medical experience don't get you into the program any quicker than someone with borderline grades & nothing really going for them, but at least students know that if they wait long enough that EVENTUALLY they'll get in.

    the lottery system is so unfair because someone could be in the running for the first time with borderline grades & get into the program whereas someone else could be trying for their third, fourth, fifth time with stellar grades & still not get in.

    i know this must be a maddening situation for you, but keep your hopes up & look into any other options that might be out there for you & hopefully you'll get in ASAP. good luck!!
  8. by   smk1
    Quote from Tim1957
    I am one of those middle-aged students who just applied for the Nursing Program at my local college. I was very careful to pick a college that based their selection process on merit. However, the local college I attend was forced by the Chancellor of the California Community College system to change the selection criteria for the Nursing program. Some of you know this new process as the lottery system. This happened well into the process of working on my Prereqs. Due to money considerations, it was immpossible for me to change colleges. I feared at the time that this new process would hurt me, because I have never been one of those who has benefited from chance drawings. My name was not picked during this so-called lottery. You see, under the old guidelines the top 7% went straight into the program. I made the the top 5%, however my academic achievement under the new system means nothing. I was forced to compete for a spot with all applicants who scored above 70%.
    Now please understand that I am well aware that some have many responsibilities outside of school. I am no different. I have someone who I care about very much who is an epileptic. She has never been under control. I have had many nights that I have spent in the ER rather than sleeping or studying. I have paid the price many times over to be where I am now. But I am getting close to fifty. And at this point, I am very emotionally tired. I really do fear that if I do not get in by the next semester, that I will not be able to finish my dream. I am very angry and dissapointed that this has happened to me. In fact, my longtime study partner was accepted and I cannot even talk to her because it upsets me knowing that she will be moving on without me. I do wish her the best but it is just too painful. But the thing that bothers me the most is that I am being told by this new process that my academic achievement means nothing.

    I have to admit, that even though I am a man I broke down and cried.


    I believe there is room for all types of selection processes in our state. But this new model is nothing but socialism. It rewards the many but penalizes those who achieve the most and some of us pay the ultimate cost. Please be aware that the Chancellor is trying to force this program on every single community college in the state.

    I just do not know where I am going to go from here.
    There is one school in our area that works off of a lottery system as well (everyone with prereqs finished at 3.0 and above GPA is included). This program is the best opportunity for those with a lower GPA so it gets at least1000 people in the lottery every time for 100 seats. I didn't bother applying there because I am not a "lucky" person either. I would not have bothered trying to go into to nursing if there weren't merit based programs. I knew exactly what I needed to do to have an excellent chance of getting in. That is how I like it. Right at the end of my prereqs the point system changed at my school as well. It was still heavily merit based though so it didn't really affect me so I was relieved. I had a friend who took prereqs and got C's because at the time that was all that was needed to get into the program at her school and expected to get in based on the old wait list system, and they changed it to GPA based and she had to re-take everything to get A's and B's to get in.
  9. by   BeccaznRN
    I'm with you guys. I was trying to get into a nursing program at my CC, which based entrance on a lottery system. I was told that I would be waiting at least a year and a half in order to get in, and the school required nursing students to be a CNA as well. I got so frustrated with the whole process that I applied to the university in my home state, was immediately accepted for the next semester, and started packing. It sucked (not to mention cost at least 5x what I would have paid at the CC), but who knows how long I would have waited to get accepted out there. I didn't want to find out.
  10. by   Tim1957
    Quote from phoenix72
    I know how you feel. Our Community college, also in California, has the same lottery process.and like you, I couldn't win a lottery if I were the only name in the box. To make it worse, our school will accept students from ANYWHERE, no residency preference. The outlying schools all have residency preference. What's happeining is that their students are applying to both schools and we are only able to apply to the one. Not fair. I won't go into how frustrated I am about it because I'll go on and on. It's infuriating! I spent years in a corporate job I hated and have just now been given the opportunity to return to school. I could go through our community college on grants and fee waivers but still never reach my goal of being a nurse because of this joke of a selection process. I've applied to enroll at our State University because their BSN program is GPA driven. If I get in, I'll have a BSN by the time it will have taken me to get an ASN at the CC. I've even looked into getting my CNA again and then taking an LVN program then a bridge program to RN. However, it's still a bone of contention for me that I should have to go to such extremes. All I can say to you is that you are not alone and the disappointment is shared by a lot of us. You WILL become a nurse if you put your mind to it. Push through and be determined. That will seperate you from the mediocre.
    Are you talking about FCC?

    That is one program besides seven others that I am going to try. But I am a fair person. I would feel terrible knowing I got accepted over one of the locals. I am going through the motions but right now I just do not have the strength.

    I
  11. by   Tim1957
    I want to thank everybody for your kind words. I am doing my best to deal. I do have support from family and close friends. Maybe, I can regroup. All of you are helping even though you are distance voices.
  12. by   suzanne4
    Which part of CA are you actually living in? There are some programs that make it easier for you to get into if you are currently an employee at a facility affiliated with that school.

    That may be an option for you.
  13. by   Tim1957
    Stanislaus County

    Going to apply at San Jouquin Delta, MJC, Merced, Fresno, College of the Sequonias, porterville, Bakersfield, and maybe two programs near Loma Linda. I am not going to take anymore chances. I have to do it this time.

    Any help you can be would be most helpful.
  14. by   Testa Rosa, RN
    Tim1957:

    Your post touched me and I will send you a hug and prayer. I hear your discouragement becuase you did everything in your power to ensure a seat in nursing school, and this decision rendered you powerless.

    You obviously worked hard with your academic achievement only to have the rules change on you mid-stream. Be proud of your accomplishments and go with the flow, and trust this may have happened for a reason.

    "Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans." So reapply next semester or next year, so enjoy the time off. Don't give up on your dream and what is meant to be your purpose in life. 49 is young, baby--and the time will go by anyway.

    I volunteer at the local hospital in the Mother/Baby Unit on Sundays, and it keeps me involved and connected. Holding those babies just makes my week!...and makes my real job bearable. Doing something like this may be good for you to, or maybe taking some "fun" classes at the CC for a change....not that I didn't have fun in anatomy or chemistry, but yoga and painting were good for my soul. You may need this time out for a little soul recharging.

    I'm in Northern California, and my local community college does the lottery system too, but they allow higher priority (two entries vs. one I believe) if a student re-applies after failing the first time. Also, apparently there can be many drop-outs between now and starting day, so who knows what may happen for you Tim (can you feel me patting you firmly on the back).

    I have my heart set on the CSU Eastbay extension program biking distance from my house and I've been retaking classes from a prior degree to move B's into A's so I can go in with a solid GPA.

    But, the local CC and private school entry level MSN programs are very good and I will be applying to these as well. I would be honored to gain a seat to these two programs, even with the longer drives or higher expense. I'm glad to hear you are applying elsewhere. Your maturity obviously makes you well acccustomed to making lemonaid out of lemons.

    Tim, I know life is not fair sometimes and it this nursing school process can be very discouraging. I feel your pain and want to send you some cyber energy to help you stay the course.

    I am a mother of three young children, have had both my parents pass away within the last 4 years--my Dad while I was struggling with chemotherapy and trying to take my chemistries with a witch teacher (my only B's). I too am a parent of a child with special needs and a seizure disorder. As an older student who's been through hell and back, I feel for you. My fear is I will be in your shoes come May/June.

    Therefore, I want to hear about your eventual success getting into a program. I want to hear that you are not giving up. This loooong process into nursing school is discouraging at many points; However, I want you to keep your spirits up. A year of your life will go by anyway--365 days are nothing when your whole life is still in front of you. I look forward to hearing good news about you within the year.

    Feel the good vibes heading your way.....

    Many Blessings,

    Bertolozzi (1962!)

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