SCC programs threatened
Attempting to get into classes at the last minute is no easy task, but now it may be even harder to find a place as classes continue to drop and student numbers do not. Fifteen programs have been placed on “program discontinuance review” at Solano Community College due to the budget crisis within the county and state.
Program discontinuance comes from an academic affairs policy in which the Curriculum Committee, a branch of the Academic Senate, reviews programs and decides whether they will stay the same, be modified, or discontinued.
The list of programs include drafting, electronics, engineering, French, German, horticulture, interior design, journalism, Latin, maintenance technician, marketing, office technology, Portuguese, real estate, and TV.
Among all these programs, one individual has stood out in her quest to rally support. Melanie Lutz, an engineering professor at the college, has been very proactive to keep the engineering program running at SCC.
“At a time when the local, state and national economies are in dire need of more skilled engineers and scientists, closing the only engineering program in Solano County would be a disastrous move in the wrong direction,” Lutz said.
So far, 33 letters in support of the continuation of the engineering program have been compiled by Lutz. The list of individuals in support of the engineering program’s continuance includes Congressman John Garamendi, local business leaders, and current and former students.
“SCC’s engineering program plays a key role in educating a highly qualified workforce to meet the demands of our technology-based economy,” said S. Shankar Sastry, UC Berkeley’s dean of engineering. “The need for more engineers to drive innovation and industrial growth is especially acute during this period of economic stagnation.”
“The classes in this program were the most challenging and motivating experiences I had at Solano,” former student Eian Vizzini said. “They tied theoretical derivations with hands on laboratory experiments, which cannot be taught online. As a result, I feel I was better prepared than my peers at the University of California, Davis.”
The Dean of Sciences, Betsy Julian, relayed that there was “very systematic data-driven approach to generating the list,” referring to the process facilitated by the Curriculum Committee.
According to Julian, during better times financially, the college was able to offer a wide variety of classes, but with the current fiscal cuts, many classes are now under scrutiny to either be cut or modified to better fit the college’s needs financially. Julian says she is not concerned that the engineering program will be cut, but said there is the chance that it will be modified.
Programs under discontinuance review:
• interior design
• maintenance technician
• office technology
• real estate