Policy brings order, clarity
New guidelines analyze, govern CCC programs
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 15:10
Over the past decade, California’s budget crisis has caused 229 course sections to be cut at Contra Costa College.
In response, CCC has implemented a formal process programs must undergo before being discontinued, as of May 2, 2012.
For programs being reviewed, the Administrative Policy on Program Revitalization, Suspension or Discontinuation analyzes a variety of factors that include a program’s enrollment, retention and the number of students graduated/certified.
Before the College Council approved the policy in May, the college based its decision of suspending the dental assisting program indefinitely on the Contra Costa Community College District’s Board Policy 4008.
The Board Policy states, “The discontinuance of programs shall be made using the college’s program review process.”
With no other alternative, the program was cut to reduce $250,000 from the college’s annual operational budget, dental assisting department Chairperson Sandra Everhart said.
Wendy Williams, the Natural, Social and Applied Science (NSAS) Division representative for the Academic Senate said, the dental assisting program is expensive to run because it uses equipment that needs to be updated frequently.
“With issues of the budget cuts, it seemed like an ideal place to cut because you can save a lot of money,” Williams said.
Academic Senate President Wayne Organ said the decision seemed unfair because the program did not get to go through a proper analysis before being discontinued. A policy was then drafted so every program can be thoroughly reviewed if chosen to go through the process.
“When the dental assisting program was about to be cut, the Academic Senate went to create a transparent and concise policy,” Organ said.
“It had to be inclusive, data driven and it had to involve stakeholders.”
The policy reviews the quality of a program and provides a chance for a program to be revitalized.
Everhart said while the program has been placed on hiatus until the end of a 90-day review process as part of the new policies guidelines, there has been no funding from the college or the district.
“If I don’t get another grant or donation, the program may not continue,” Everhart said. “The process is only a process. If it is a success, where will the money come from?”
Library, Allied Health, Vocational Education and Athletics (LAVA) Division Dean Susan Lee said if Proposition 30 does not pass, more programs will be in the same situation as the dental assisting program.
Proposition 30, which will be on the Nov. 6 ballot, will fund education and public services by temporarily increasing sales and income taxes, preventing trigger cuts equaling $338 million.