While it is unfortunate Lansing Community College may eliminate six programs, it is an understandable move.
Early this month, LCC President Paula Cunningham recommended the elimination of six of the colleges programs. Her recommendation came after LCC reviewed the programs that ranked near the bottom of the 60 available.
The programs were evaluated to determine how many jobs are in the field, the class size, the transferability of the program, employer satisfaction and cost. The programs - aviation, court reporting, dance, dental assistance, medical assistance and quality assurance - didnt meet the criteria, officials said.
The LCC Board of Trustees decided Monday to delay making a decision until a later date. The final decision will be made within the next two weeks, before the colleges course guides are printed. The boards Monday meeting attracted a crowd of nearly 200 people who gave more than three hours of testimony in favor of the programs.
While it is unfortunate the programs face elimination, the college obviously has its reasons for cutting them. LCC has taken the time to review these and other programs to decide what moves would benefit the college. These cuts do not seem like a deliberate attempt to hurt students, but an attempt to benefit the college as a whole by funneling the money saved into other more popular programs.
It should also be noted the programs in jeopardy include only 200 of the colleges 16,500 students. Those 200 will be allowed to finish their programs and wont be left without options. The college plans to phase out these programs, not immediately eliminate them. LCC should be commended for allowing the students affected to finish their programs if they are eliminated.
Despite the colleges motivation for eliminating the programs, it should look into other options besides completely eliminating them.
At Mondays meeting, the director of the medical assistant program suggested suspending the program instead of eliminating it. The court reporting director suggested offering the programs classes online and the dance program faculty proposed ways to cut the programs budget.
LCC should consider these options and other ways to alter the programs to redirect money to other programs. It should also reconsider eliminating the aviation program because of the affect its elimination could have on the Capital City Airport.
The airport is negotiating a deal with Air Wisconsin to get a $7 million regional maintenance facility to Lansing. To go through with the deal, Air Wisconsin would need a training facility nearby. Eliminating the aviation program could cause a loss to the airport.
The potential elimination of six LCC programs is unfortunate. However, the demand for these programs is relatively low and the money saved could benefit other programs in the college. However, before completely eliminating these programs, the college should examine all options to save money and deal with enrollment issues.