Northwest Community College plans to slash budget by $1.4 million

Most affected will be the college's university credit courses and its Smithers campus

Northwest Community College has announced spending cuts of $1.4 million

Northwest Community College has announced spending cuts of $1.4 million, primarily affecting its university course credit program.

While no university credit programs will be cancelled outright, where and how courses will be taught is to change, said college communications director Sarah Zimmerman.

“With under-enrolled courses, we looked at timetables so that instead, for example, of being offered several times it will be offered once,” she said.

Smithers is to be affected the most as students there wishing to take university credit courses will now have to do so via teleconferencing or other electronic means.

And fewer course times means fewer instructors and others will be needed, Zimmerman said.

“We’ve been working with our unions offering early retirement and severance packages,” she added.

The more college employees take up retirement or severance packages the fewer actual job losses there will be, said Zimmerman.

Some instructors are also being told they’ll be teaching less.

Zimmerman said the college’s shortfall stems from receiving less money from the province and less tuition money because student enrolment has dropped.

“And as a college, we are obligated to submit a balanced budget,” she said.

One large financial loss comes from the province cutting a grant worth $494,000 to provide tuition-free adult basic education courses.

The college will now start charging the same level of tuition for adult basic education that it does for university level academic courses but students can also now apply to the province for financial assistance.

The level of assistance will depend on a student’s income.

“We don’t know what the impact of charging tuition will be or the uptake of financial aid,” said Zimmerman, adding that the college estimates the new fees will bring in $75,000.

Despite the spending cuts and a compressed academic program offering, Zimmerman said the college remains a viable educational institution.

“We continue to have robust programs. There is demand for what we offer – trades, fine arts, health and business programs,” she said.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Museum colouring books are a big hit with families

Curator found them tucked away in a box

City says unlikely there will be a significant property tax reduction from proposed increase

One resident has asked the Town to consider reducing the proposed 7.4 per cent tax increase

Kitimat LNG Canada worker tests positive for COVID-19

The company announced the positive case to its workers on March 28

Bachrach to donate salary hike to community organizations

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP among growing list of MPs giving raise away amid economic crisis

Heli-skiing firm reports no further signs of COVID-19

Guest of Northern Escape Heli Skiing tested positive last month

From inside the ER: B.C. doctor tells it like it is from the frontlines of COVID-19

‘Stay home. It’s working,’ says ER doctor in a Q&A discussion, ‘And please don’t worry.’

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Trudeau commits $100M to help food banks amid COVID-19 crisis

Funds will help ‘urgent food needs’ for Canadians awaiting federal emergency benefits to kick in

Couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas: Cowichan by-law

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

How well can cell phones carry COVID-19? Disinfecting may be wise

‘You want to keep it as clean as you would normally your hands’

3M pushes back on Trump administration call to stop sending N95 masks to Canada

3M says it has already been turning out as many of the N95 masks as possible

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Most Read