BARSTOW • Lourdes Feliciano is excited about starting her first semester at Barstow Community College on Monday — especially after experiencing the overcrowded conditions at Victor Valley College.

The 20-year-old Victorville resident attended VVC since 2007 but decided to enroll in BCC this fall after both she and her boyfriend found that they had to either sit on the classroom floors or stand in the back of the room. VVC officials have said they will likely turn students away this fall due to state budget cuts that have limited increasing classes offered.

In a math class, Feliciano said students had to sit two to a desk.

"I was very difficult to get that instruction time with the teacher because there were so many students," she said.

According to spokeswoman Maureen Stokes, BCC has seen an uptick in students from the Victor valley area making the drive and coming to BCC.

BCC reported enrolling 417 students from Adelanto, Apple Valley, Helendale, Hesperia and Victorville this fall, which is an increase of 54 students compared to Fall 2008.

Feliciano, who also got her boyfriend to transfer from VVC to BCC, noted that programs like the cosmetology program, which isn't offered at VVC, also attracted her to BCC.

Judy Zamora, 33, said it was actually more convenient for her to drive to Barstow than to spend 50 minutes driving across town to VVC.

"I get all of the traffic in the evenings," said the Victorville resident, who also noted that she'd been wait-listed for several courses she had wanted to take at VVC.

Feliciano said she found that BCC's smaller campus provided a calmer academic atmosphere.

"It was more of a relaxing environment," Feliciano said, noting she had seen three fights break out during her time at VVC.

BCC will be a fresh start, Feliciano said.

"I feel like I can succeed at that school due to the environment," she said.

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(760) 256-4122 or elee@desertdispatch.com