In response to state-mandated budget reductions, big changes are coming for the Center for Business & Continuing Education (CBCE) at Shoreline Community College.
“State budget cuts have real impacts,” said Shoreline President Lee Lambert. “Shoreline’s share of the state cuts for the year starting July 1 was about $1.6 million. Cuts that deep, combined with reductions in previous years, mean the college had to make some adjustments.”
“The structure, scope and scale of CBCE operations will be changing in the fall of 2010 as a result of these budget cuts,” said David Cunningham, Dean of Workforce and Continuing Education. After Aug. 31, the schedule of non-credit, continuing-education classes offered under CBCE will be significantly reduced. “As budgets get tighter, we have to focus on those things that either helps us reach our state-mandated student targets or otherwise help our bottom line,” Lambert said. “Unfortunately, that means we have to scale back in some areas.”
The CBCE will continue to provide assistance to community members through programs such as the Small Business Accelerator, a business consulting program offered in collaboration with the City of Shoreline and the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce. The college will shift its focus to the national “Plus 50” program, a program aimed at helping the mid-life unemployed gain new skills and get back to work. The college will also continue to provide contract training to industry, such as the 6,000-10,000 automotive technicians that take classes at Shoreline every year.
The CBCE reductions don’t impact traditional for-credit classes.
These changes mean that some CBCE employees will lose their jobs and some will be transferred to other duties. “This is not a step we take lightly,” Lambert said. “This isn’t just a Shoreline problem, colleges across the state are facing similar difficult decisions to reduce offerings and meet budget constraints.”
Ultimately, Lambert said, the college had to reduce costs to reach the state-required budget target.
For the past decade, Shoreline has leased space inside the Lake Forest Park Town Centre mall for a satellite campus that has housed CBCE. College officials are looking at options for that space, but no final decisions have been made.
With the reduction in offerings, the college doesn’t plan on publishing the traditional separate class schedule for CBCE, according to David Cunningham, Dean of Workforce and Continuing Education. “We’ll be reviewing next steps in the coming months,” he said. “We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work through this difficult time.”