Continuing-education classes help community bond

Published 12:44 pm Friday, April 3, 2009

By Staff
The Beaufort County Community College decision to temporarily suspend significant portions of its continuing-education program is regrettable, but necessary.
Because of declining revenues, the state is requiring the college to return 6 percent of its funding, an across-the-board reduction that will affect all of the college’s programs and services, BCCC officials explained.
According to the college, suspending some continuing-education classes is a way for that department to meet its 6 percent reduction goal.
The continuing-education program is being hit hard because there’s not enough money to pay the program’s part-time instructors.
Given the basic nature of college education, which is to educate young people to enter the workplace, it’s not surprising that emphasis is placed on state-funded core courses for these students.
It’s a shame, though, that BCCC’s valuable continuing-education courses must suffer during harsh economic times.
In some ways, they are really the glue that helps a community bond. You can readily connote as much from BCCC’s own summary as outlined in its course manual:
Well said, and very true.
BCCC’s continuing-education course offerings include Graduation Equivalency Degree programs, English-as-a-second-language courses and a variety of industrial-related classes.
It also offers cake decorating, flower arranging, pottery and other artistic endeavors.
An array of other offerings that promote professional development fill in the gaps.
Though some continuing-education programs are self-supported through class fees, those such as English-as-a-second-language are not, and thus suffer when economic times are tough.
The school plans to shut down the state-funded continuing-education courses only from May 1 to May 15, so hopefully the curriculum will get back to full strength shortly afterward.
So far, the college has experienced no layoffs, though continuing-education instructors won’t be paid during the time their courses are shut down.
The best we can say about the situation is it could be a lot worse.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed, hoping the continuing-education program experiences no more cutbacks.
It’s a valuable community service and deserves to be funded.