College News

Central Carolina adds summer school funding option

02.16.2009College General

SANFORD - North Carolina’s tight budget has Central Carolina Community College reviewing its options for the funding of curriculum classes during the summer semester.

At its Feb. 11 meeting, the college’s board of trustees approved a revision to the Self-Supporting Class Policy, clarifying that the policy could apply to curriculum, as well as to continuing education, classes. Self-supporting classes are those whose costs are borne by the students enrolled in them.

The policy change gives the college the option to charge for curriculum classes for the summer semester. If the state doesn’t provide sufficient funding for the college to cover them during the summer session, the policy change provides for a possible funding source. Another option would be to offer fewer of them.

Some college programs have required classes during the summer semester. It is the intent of the college to offer required classes at normal student tuition rates, according to Wayne Robinson, the college’s vice president for Administrative Services.

He added that the offering of self-supported classes is a contingency plan because there is so much uncertainty about the amount of cash the college will have available from the state. He said it will be a few more weeks before it is determined if that option is needed.

The college hopes that there will be sufficient money from the state for the college to fully fund summer semester curriculum courses as it has in the past.

The way the state provides funding for community colleges has resulted in a triple whammy for 2008-09:

  • The state does not provide funding for summer curriculum classes. Up to now, Central Carolina has used part of its general state funding to help pay for these classes.
  • For 2008-09, because of the state’s budget problems, community colleges have had to revert (return) 5 percent of their state funding. For Central Carolina, that amounts to $1.25 million.
  • The state provides funding to community colleges based on the previous year’s enrollment. Central Carolina’s spring enrollment is 11 percent higher than at a similar time last year, although state funding for the year increased by only a few hundred dollars. No money has been provided for the increase in student population even at a time when many laid-off workers are flocking to the college to learn new job skills.

In other business, the board:

  • gave approval to begin the planning process for the college’s 50th anniversary in 2011.
  • was informed that Chatham County will likely seek bids in July or August for the planned Chatham County Campus Sustainable Technologies Building and joint Chatham-CCCC library. 
  • approved the transfer of 41.42 acres of land from the college to Chatham County for the planned Siler City Center. The county will use the land as collateral to borrow the funds to construct the Center. When the loan is repaid, the land and building will be transferred back the college.
  • approved advertising for designer services for the planned continuing education building on the Lee County Campus. The building is the top priority in the college’s Master Facility Plan. The state has appropriated $90,000 to begin planning for it. The building would move the college’s Lee County continuing education programs from the Jonesboro Center back to the campus.
  • approved by-laws for the college’s advisory committees in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties. Board chairman Bobby Powell emphasized the importance of the committees, saying each county is different and it is important to use the college’s resources as the people of each county feel is most important.