Community colleges see funding cuts despite record enrollment

Posted August 18, 2011

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— Wake Technical Community College has seen its enrollment increase more than 30 percent since 2008. At the same time, it and other state community colleges have seen a 10 percent decrease in state funding.

Many community colleges in North Carolina have reported a record number of students enrolling, forcing them to put people on a wait list.

“Our demand exceeds our ability to serve,” said Wake Tech President Stephen Scott. “What we’re going to do, we’re going to serve people as long as Wake Tech has resources.”

Last year, about 5,000 people were a wait list for Wake Tech’s classes. That number is now about 6,400. Scott says he wishes no one had to be on the wait list.

School leaders say one reason more people are turning to community colleges is because of the troubled economy. That’s true for Dana Murray, who lost a retail job he had for eight years. He has been looking to switch careers by pursuing a degree in criminal justice.

“It’s been hard trying to obtain a job, trying to find a decent job to, I guess, pay the bills,” he said.

The State Board of Community Colleges was meeting Thursday and Friday in downtown Raleigh. Across the state, 58 community colleges serve more than 800,000 students.


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  • kermit60 Aug 24, 2011

    Why is it that so many students that finish high school and decides to further their educaton think that someone else should pay for it? Community Colleges and Universities are a business just like Wal-Mart. The state or better yet the taxpayers shouldn't have to support them because they can't manage their money or don't make enough profit.

  • quiturwhining Aug 19, 2011

    Artie--agreed. Same thing at Durham Tech in recent years. New well-paid administrative positions added and/or upgraded while the front line staff in some areas are doing two people's jobs. Even students can see that departments are understaffed, people are overworked, and say so. Huge enrollment increases and the same or fewer staff members to handle it! Logic says that's not possible. Money is short, but funds don't seem to be appropriated wisely.

    At the same time, Durham Tech, PCC, Wake Tech, and other CC's are doing important work. There should be more funding from the state. But the processes and decisions at the college level need to be made transparent, and staff members need to be treated and paid better than they are.

  • wral suks bauls Aug 19, 2011

    After working at PCC in Roxboro and being a student there, I beg to differ about waste. Between the odd ways of spending money on things because the state contracts require it, the corrupt hiring practices (rigged hiring practices, hiring family for jobs or fixing job hiring - already knowing who's getting the job before it's even posted), bad management and no raises for employees, there's a ton of waste in the Community College System. The problem is money is going to the wrong places when really money could be saved in lots of places on the CC level.

  • jeschmit Aug 19, 2011

    I went to Wake Tech for a number of years. In the time that I was there they started doing a number of things to cut costs. Students were required to furnish their own scantron forms, and print their class syllabi. Teachers were only allowed to print one copy of tests and quizzes and if paper or toner ran out for the semester then it was out. They also switched online learning platforms from one that they had to pay for to one that is free and have been turning down applications for work study. Science teachers have also been furnishing much but not all of the materials for the required labs. This is all done while there has been a tuition increase

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 19, 2011

    Rebelyell55- I would invite you to come to any community college and find waste. sst100
    August 18, 2011 7:59 p.m.........

    While my comment did not menition anything about waste in the community college, (re-read "goverment"), I'm willing to bet that even I could find some waste and cost saving, (it happen to of been one of many duties for 25 years and had professional training). The point being is that our country,state and local goverment have over spent for years. The citizens who support the goverments, are strapped for cash now. The economy demands leaner goverments, remove of waste. Way too many people with salary that exceeds their value to the citizens. Every day our State audit agency is finding waste, mis-appropiation of funds,etc. I for one think that the money on More at 4 is a waste and should be used to add another year on the top side, so students who go to some form of college are better prepared or have a year of technical training.

  • RWS Aug 19, 2011

    Just say thanks to the Republicans.

  • kenshi Aug 19, 2011

    readme.. so what you are saying is that only rich kids deserve an education?

  • quiturwhining Aug 19, 2011

    Media should keep reporting on this issue b/c, as seen in posts here, plenty of people still don't get it about education & the economy. & certainly don't know what our commu. colleges are about or are doing. But people will comment anyway.

    Waiting lists--enrollment is computerized. If you want to get into a class and it's full, you can put yourself on a wait list, b/c some people may switch out before the semester starts & you may get in. That's how they know how many people wanted classes but couldn't get in.

    Many people DO get jobs post-CC b/c they've gotten practical degrees--nursing, business admin, industrial systems, etc.

    readme--private schools, really? Show us one nation where everyone attends private school. Maybe you'd like to go back several centuries & only have the wealthy get educated?

    The truly untold story is about the STAFF at CC's. Buying our own equipment, working inhumane hours, doing multiple jobs--at miserable salaries, thanks to years of NC budget problems.

  • readme Aug 19, 2011

    This is not the end of the world. If the government exited the post K-12 education system altogether, we would manage. There are private schools.

  • WooHoo2You Aug 19, 2011

    Great, lets further set ourselves BEHIND the rest of the world in terms of education and competition!!!!!

    Heck, lets get rid of colleges all together and give the money to corporations. I am sure they will use all that money they saved to hire these kids at minimum wage. Can't outsource Walmart greeters or baggers at Food Lion...