Trail council gives failing grade to post-secondary cuts

 

By Val Rossi – Trail Daily Times
Published: April 05, 2012 4:00 PM

Pending cuts to Selkirk College programs has Trail concerned for future local post-secondary education.

The city has written to the school in hopes of having a discussion in the near future on what Trail councillor Robert Cacchioni calls a “self-defeating prophecy.”

Recently the B.C. government announced it was cutting its funding to post-secondary education by $70 million over the next three years, including over $1 million from Selkirk College.

Although the province claimed the money could be made up through administrative cuts, Selkirk administration announced March 5 that all of the second-year science courses, the entire engineering and philosophy programs, and the second years of the three two-year arts degrees offered at the Kootenay School of the Arts were being cut due to lack of funding.

“Here we’ve got an institution that has provided a great deal of service, especially its two-year programs has enabled a lot of parents to save as much as $30,000 by sending their kids here and it would seem that the ministry should be looking at some kind of geographical isolation concerns,” said Cacchioni.

“When we start losing programs here, we’re in a situation where there’s no options, you have to move out.”

Cacchioni fears that the loss of second-year courses will encourage students to apply to a school in a larger centre immediately to avoid the hassle of transferring after only one year.

“All that will do, in fact, will reduce the number of students in the programs and it will be very easy for administration and the board if they so choose to say, ‘Well we really don’t need any university-transfer programs anymore.’”

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