WINCHESTER — Umpqua Community College is taking a closer look at its Southern Oregon Wine Institute, as well as the engineering and computer science programs, because those programs are chronically under-enrolled, according to President Debra Thatcher.
“When we’re looking at low-enrolled programs, our goal is not just to get rid of programs. Our goal is to boost them,” she said at Tuesday’s board of directors meeting. “If possible, make them stronger. But that will require some modification and sometimes elimination of some courses.”
The community college decided to reconfigure its automotive programs in May of this year. Instead of offering two-year programs, the college is working to create a one-year certificate program that would be more cost-efficient for the college.
College administrators will meet with an advisory committee for the wine institute Thursday to discuss options. A meeting has already taken place with an advisory committee for the engineering and computer science programs.
There will be a work session before the Dec. 9 board meeting to inform the board of possible next steps and available options for these programs.
Thatcher said there are additional programs on the list to be reviewed as well, but she was not prepared to share which programs at this time.
Other things that were discussed at the board meeting, included:
- The board meeting started with a moment of silence for two UCC staff members who died this past week; UCC Career Coach Danna-May Blommer and Nursing Associate Professor Patrice Coate.
- Thatcher introduced Dina Battaglia as the new Dean of Faculty Development. Battaglia is expected to hold a presentation to the board about her role in early 2021.
- The board discussed the implementation of its COVID-19 plan and how it worked in practice when two students were diagnosed with COVID-19. Staff and students will be surveyed about the college’s response to the coronavirus in late November, early December.
- The college is also working on a building closure plan because many buildings are empty or mostly empty since classes have moved online. Temporarily closing unused buildings will be a financial benefit to the college.
- Classes will continue to be offered remotely but are not fully online. Remote classes are often synchronous learning experiences, while fully online courses are asynchronous and offer students to work at their own pace.
- Georgann Willis received a grant to write a book for a Psychology 100 course that will be distributed throughout the state.
- Umpqua Community College has received 17 applications for the position of president as of Tuesday. On Jan. 4, a search committee will start reviewing applications.