After years of trimming its budget back but doing everything possible to not trim away classes, things are dire enough in the latest state budget that even Seattle Central Community College’s strongest programs are clouds of worry this week. You might have seen an e-mail from your favorite SCCC-connected person — there are about 10,000 students enrolled at the school, by the way — asking for your support for programs that could be on the chopping block. CHS has received several from people worried about the Capitol Hill school’s Parent Education Center, for example. There are reasons to be worried — the school is still searching for $2 million in cuts, we’re told — but the childcare center is probably not one of them.
“The childcare center does a pretty good job supporting itself,” SCCC spokesperson Laura Mansfield tells CHS. “It’s such a resource for our students.”
Mansfield told CHS that the center is also supported by SCCC’s non-profit foundation so enjoys a greater buffer from the cutbacks in Olympia.
Mansfield said that school administrators have already planned about $2.5 million in cuts — much of that arrived at by planning “labor reduction” like eliminating positions where somebody has recently retired or left the school. SCCC, like public colleges throughout the state, is in the midst of sorting out how best to cut more. In SCCC’s case, $2 million more.
Labor reduction of $1,405,602, including
Savings from restructuring of Foundation Office
Layoffs of three (3) classified positions
Shifting of three (3) classified positions to local funds
Eliminating two (2) VACANT classified positions
Eliminating four (4) VACANT exempt positions
Eliminating three (3) VACANT faculty positions
Buyouts of two (2) faculty positions Reducing hourly budgets
Volunteer furloughs in one department
Goods & services reduction of $53,948
Other reductions of $150,000 from campus‐wide budgets
Worker Retraining Reduction of $797,020 (removal of one‐time funding)
Most of this Worker Retraining money is being used for part‐time faculty budget
“Even if we cut all our student services,” Mansfield said, “we still would not have enough to come up with this cut.”
SCCC is looking at cutting back instruction by eliminating programs. At a budget meeting last week at the Broadway Performance Hall, a list of eight “Programs Requiring Additional Analysis” was a hot topic:
- Apparel Design: Issues requiring additional information: low student:faculty ratio; higher median costs of program; higher cost to generate FTE than similar-sized programs; Less than 70% job placement.
- Film & Video Communications: Issues requiring additional information: Higher cost to generate FTE that similar-sized programs; sufficient faculty workload; low rates of student completion within program period; less than 40% for job placement.
- Publishing Arts: Issues requiring additional information: Low numbers of State FTE generation; low student:faculty ratio; Higher median costs of program; higher costs to generate FTE than similar-sized programs; less than 50% completion within the program period.
- School of Opticianry: Issues requiring additional information: Higher cost to generate FTEs; job marketplace not requiring this degree; how could the program operate in a self-support basis?
- Interpreter Training Program: Issues requiring additional information: Less than 50% completion rates; Less than 50% job placement; High specialized costs for technology purchase, maintenance, and support; not certified program -certification would require additional costs to further reduce student:faculty ratio; TAC noting near saturation in marketplace; ITP requiring BA degree in 2012.
- Parent Education Program: Issues requiring additional information: Relationship between core college mission; Cost of generating FTE; how could the program operate in a self-support basis?
- Information Office: Issues requiring additional information: Relationship between core college mission; Possible redundancies with Campus Security and Student’s Information Desk.
- Basic Skills: Issues requiring additional information: How the District and State is positioning Basic skills regarding cost per FTE and related tuition model; District determination of reduction of sections.
- Distance Learning: Issues requiring additional information: Staffing model indicates some overlap in duties; question regarding refining mission of credit and non-credit courses through DL; role of reorganization with DL and other areas (like the Information Office) and other positional reorganizations for cost-savings.
Mansfield says the list should not be seen as a list of “at risk” programs but acknowledged that each — including the Parent Education Program — are getting hard looks this week as administrators work to gather information that proves if the programs pencil out in the new budget. Cuts could come from other programs — but the numbers are being crunched on these.
The result, Mansfield said, will be significant cuts in instruction.
“We’re not offering as many courses as we’d like to offer,” Mansfield said. “Students will find it harder to get the courses we want.”
“Our whole mission is accces. The idea that students might not be able to do that is devastating to us.”