Budget crises at public colleges haven’t just meant higher tuition, but also significant setbacks in training for jobs needed the most in the country, according to a front-page article in today’s New York Times.
And to show the real-world effects of budget cuts, the article turned to Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh where nursing classes are in such high demand that there’s now a waiting list to a waiting list, all despite a well-documented nursing shortage in the state.
From the article:
If they are not eliminating job-friendly technical programs outright, many colleges are simply not expanding them to meet demand. Students then have to stay in college longer to squeeze in required classes, increasing both their debt and the chance that they will drop out.
At Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, N.C., enrollment has grown by about 30 percent in the last three years, while total state funding has fallen by 21 percent, an amount not fully offset by tuition increases. The college cannot afford to expand its popular nursing program beyond its 275 slots, leaving 1,000 frustrated students on the waiting list. To keep these students, the college has enrolled them in a “pre-nursing” program, a new prerequisite for staying on the waiting list. But even those courses have a waiting list of more than 400 students.