• Mt. Hood Community College District Board Votes to Phase Out Seven Programs

    Next step will be defining teach-out plans for impacted students

    GRESHAM, Ore. – The Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) District Board of Education voted to phase out seven instructional programs at their January 15, 2020 meeting.

    The seven programs that will be phased out are:

    • Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair (The college will continue to provide its automotive degree programs including FORD ASSET, Chrysler CAP, Subaru U and IMPORT programs.)
    • Broadcasting
    • Business Technology
    • Cosmetology
    • Environmental Health and Safety
    • Practical Nursing (The college will continue to provide its RN and CNA programs.)
    • Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education

    “Phasing out programs is never an easy decision to make, but we as a board know that it is necessary for the college to continue to review its operations and respond adeptly to the challenges that directly affect our ability to address the educational needs of our students,” said Diane McKeel, Chairwoman of the MHCC District Board of Education.

    The college will continue to work with current students within the impacted programs and provide them assistance toward achieving their academic goals. In a statement to the board, MHCC’s Associated Student Government (ASG) also recommended phasing out the programs in order to protect the general student body from another round of tuition increases.

    “While it is unfortunate to cut programs, if we were to keep these there would be a dramatic increase in tuition. With rising costs of living, another tuition increase would put even more of the financial burden on all of the students who attend Mt. Hood Community College. The Associated Student Government supports keeping our college as accessible and open as possible and substantial tuition increases would create a barrier to student success,” part of the ASG statement read.

    The phasing out of these programs stems from MHCC’s Academic Revitalization process, which was a review of 61 disciplines and programs across the college that began last year following a directive from the board. A team of full-time and part-time faculty, classified staff and instructional deans developed the process and four categories in which disciplines could be placed, which were Maintain, Grow, Modify and Phase Out. The remaining programs that were not placed in the “Phase Out” category were placed in “Modify,” meaning they will be improved in order to increase course fill rates, retention and cost effectiveness for the college moving forward. No programs were classified as “Maintain” or “Grow”.

    Along with the academic program revitalizations process, all MHCC non-instructional programs and services are undergoing a similar process to identify areas of improvement and budget adjustments as well. The college also maintains its commitment to fulfilling the workforce needs of local employers by supporting and improving its remaining academic programs.

    The college is facing a $2.8-million deficit and while the phasing out of the programs will eventually assist in dealing with funding challenges, no savings will be seen until the programs have ended.

    “Our community looks to us to keep education affordable, relevant and accessible. That means we have to make these tough decisions now and develop a funding model that withstands the ebbs and flows of enrollment and employment, economic booms and economic recessions so we can continue to serve our students as their needs change,” said MHCC President Dr. Lisa Skari.

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