Nat’l attention falls on class shortage at Raleigh community college

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.

One Comment

  1. Andarge

    March 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    @DaoudaW, you observe that life-time pioassn follows knowledge because traditional schools make it that way. There are schools practicing pioassn-driven learning and every student explores their pioassns, talents, and interests and knows how to develop them. Of course you wouldn’t see this looking at traditional school models. When you look at alternative learning models, you see something very different which is students enjoy exploring and developing pioassns as early as possible. I disagree with #2. The fact is college isn’t for everyone. Why must it be? Additionally, even if colleges weren’t simply an extension of high school, when little time is allocated in the school day to determine what it is you are excited about how do you know what to pursue in college? Most don’t but could if there was attention given to this before students arrived.Finally, the numbers are in, and college is no longer a better bet financially than skipping school for many careers.