The entire Paralegal program, 28 Business Technology sections and four Criminal Justice sections are proposed to be cut in the 2016 budget.
The Business Technology cuts would leave only 86 sections for the year. Business Technology professor and division chair Marilyn Hale already cut roughly 15 percent of course offerings last year.
“If we cut Keyboarding for example we wouldn’t be able to give any degrees or certificates and that would impact other programs like Nursing, Pharmacy Technology, Business Med and Computer Technology,” Hale said. “At this point I think we will still be able to offer all of the classes so students will be able to complete a degree or certificate.”
Third-year student Katelyn Claflin started taking Business Tech classes this quarter. “I need to get this degree in order to be a member of society,” Claflin said. “These classes are significant to my career.”
With the proposed reduction, Claflin worries that if classes are only offered one quarter a year, students may not have a chance to take what they want when they want it.
“We can certainly reassure students that program cuts, if they have to be made, will be done thoughtfully and with input from students and their representatives on ASCC,” said Bob Williamson, Vice President of Administrative Services in a previous Independent article.
Hale recommends being aware of what’s happening on campus so students can be involved. “They also need to know that the faculty is going to be trying to put them first because without [students] there is no purpose in us being here,” she said.
Clark offered four Criminal Justice sections in 2015, but the proposals call for all to be eliminated in 2016.
“Right now we don’t have a degree program in Criminal Justice, meaning there won’t be any students who are displaced from a Clark degree program,” said Miles Jackson, Dean of Social Science and Fine Arts.
Even though Intro to Criminal Justice and Intro to Corrections classes may not be offered in the future, students will have other social science courses to choose from, according the budget proposal.
“Somebody can still be interested in getting a Criminal Justice degree and transfer to another college,” Jackson said. “But [transferring] is exactly what they would need to do now.”
If the cuts go through, adjunct instructor Patrick Escamilla, would no longer be teaching Criminal Justice. However, Jackson said college officials would try to find a way for Escamilla to teach more sociology classes.
The Paralegal program is proposed to be eliminated as well. The proposal states that the cut would affect a small group of students and that the number of program graduates exceeds job demand.
“The Paralegal Program generates excess funds and is a stream of revenue for the College,” said Layne Russell, Paralegal program director and professor. “Deletion of the Paralegal courses would also cut the Legal Administrative and Legal Office program.”
With the elimination of the Paralegal program comes the loss of non-law course enrollments. “It is a safe assumption that students who wish to get a terminal degree, such as Paralegal or Legal Office, would not be at Clark without such programs,” Russell stated. “Hence, those “absent” students would not be enrolled in related courses, such as English, History, Science, Communications, Business Technology and more.”