Back to school

Aug. 26 is the start of Butte College and Chico State’s first academic year after the state’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire. In this week’s special Back to School issue, we take a look at the post-Camp Fire landscape that includes declines in enrollment at both institutions, including a steep drop in Chico State’s incoming freshman class.

One of the challenges for new and returning students is the contracted rental market—an environment that has forced folks displaced by the fire into what traditionally has been student housing. One bright spot at the university is that, even before the Camp Fire, it had been working to make room for more students on campus.

The best news comes out of Butte College—the Oroville-based campus is attracting students with two years of free tuition for first-time students who enroll full-time. More impressive: It is offering new programs, in areas such as construction management, developed specifically in response to the needs of the community following the disaster.

Here at the CN&R, we recognize students as a vibrant part of Butte County. We want to acknowledge the challenges they face and at the same time wish them a successful start to the new school year.