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De Anza College Students Facing Unprecedented Wait List

CUPERTINO (KCBS) - Monday was the first day of instruction at De Anza College. However, many students were turned away from class. It was a simple mathematical equation: there were more students than the number of available parking spaces, desks and chairs on campus.

"I believe it was 10:20 a.m., the parking lots were completely filled," explained De Anza Vice President Christina Espinosa-Pieb. "We were impacting the city streets at that point and we had students saying they couldn't get in and what if they missed their class? And so we were advising students to not miss."

A record 11,000 De Anza students were wait-listed for classes that are already full for the fall term.

Students who were unable to make it to the first day of class risked losing their spot on an instructor's roster. There were often two or three dozen students on any given wait list, waiting to take their place.

"The instructors are, in fact, taking roll," warned Espinosa-Pieb. "And if somebody is not there, they've got 30 people waiting desperately to get in."

Animation major Calvin Lam witnessed first-hand how stiff the competition was for open spots. One of his instructors announced an almost unheard of two openings Monday.

"You have to fight for it," he explained.

Students rushed to the front of the classroom, pushing and shoving in hopes of reaching the instructor.

"There's going to be hair-pulling," he joked.

One student, who identified himself as Justin, was among the wait-listed.

"At the end of the class it felt like every student was fighting for their spot," he said. "You know, right when the teacher said, alright, all adds to the front, everyone starts rushing in. I mean, I rushed in, I cut too. There was pushing, shoving."

De Anza, along with Foothill Community College, also in Silicon Valley, are the last community colleges in California to begin the fall semester.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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