SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Allan Hancock College has a new president, Kevin Walthers. Walthers is only two days into his new job at Allan Hancock. That's not much time to lay out a master plan, but Walthers says he doesn't intend on shaking things up too much at the college.
"If you make all your decisions based on what's good for students, everything else seems to work out," says Walthers.
Walthers has administrative experience, and he comes to Allan Hancock during a time when the cost of going to a community college is going up. Community college is seen as an affordable way to get a college education. But student fees have been increasing in recent years, taking the bang out of some of the students' bucks.
Allan Hancock student Ulises Serrano says, "it's very unfortunate that the fees have been going up for the last few years. Because it also limits access to other students that would otherwise not be able to get into schools because they can't afford it."
Walthers says the one reason fees are going up is because state support has been declining.
"It's a real problem nationally and in California, especially when you get back to that first generation college student," says Walthers. "How can they afford to go through college?"
The state budget that passed last month sends more money to community colleges like Hancock. Walthers sees that as an effort to offset increased costs to students.
"What I see from the state legislature is that they get how important community colleges are. We're the largest higher education system in the world. And we need to make sure we are able to help students," says Walthers.
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