SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

February 6, 2014

Letter: College cuts hurt students

To the editor:

A new semester has started at North Shore Community College, but for one popular career program, this could be the last semester.

Students are being turned away from NSCC’s cosmetology program for the fall, and three faculty members have been told they’re losing their jobs. Cosmetology is the first program at the college to fill when registration opens. It serves 40 students each semester with long waiting lists for openings. And it’s no wonder. Graduates pass the certification test at a rate of 99 percent, and virtually 100 percent find employment in the field.

NSCC inherited the program when the Essex Aggie post-secondary division merged with the college in 1999. Started in 1956, it is the only post-secondary cosmetology program in the state. This program, and the similarly threatened culinary arts program, have very specific facility needs, which have been housed in Aggie buildings while NSCC has searched for space to house them. But the technical high school is expanding, and the old Aggie buildings are being demolished this summer.

The college has been searching for space to house cosmetology and culinary arts, but with no specific funding, and with complicated state requirements, nothing worked. A company called Higher Ed Partners, which had relationships with other community colleges, stepped in with a plan to rehab a building on Union Street in Lynn to house the programs with a deal to somehow split the fees. But after two delays, and despite promises from HEP, the deal fell through.

Workforce development is an important charge the state has put on community colleges. But these programs are often complicated and expensive to run, and funds to start and maintain them are severely limited. The fact that NSCC needed to work with a private company points to serious flaws in state funding. Investing in Massachusetts students doesn’t lead to short-term profits. If workforce development is the state’s agenda for community colleges, then it is vital that the state invests money and emergency support for these programs.

Donald Williams

Mass. Community College Council

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium