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Continuing Education to end after 35 years

Professional development classes take classes take the first hit with more cuts to come

By Kelsey Mercurio

February, 3 2010

Cleveland State University is one of many public colleges being hit by the state cuts of higher education. Due to the cuts, CSU has made a decision to close its Division of Continuing Education.

Most of the classes offered in Continuing Education programs will be transferred to other departments on campus. The locations of the classes are not yet determined.
The budget cuts come from the recession that hit Ohio hard. The income tax revenue and sales tax on higher-end items have declined significantly. This in return made the state revenue decline as well. In the past years the state has given stimulus funds to higher education in Ohio. Come July, the state no longer has stimulus money to give out to various universities.

“The state is on its own,” said Timothy Long, the director of the office of budget and financial analysis. “They lost a chunk of money, about eight to ten billion.”

Long also explained what CSU could lose from the state. Nothing is set in stone, but the university could have a 20 to 25 percent reduction on money from the state. Long also splits the university into three departments: academic, non-academic and academic support. Again, with nothing set in stone, Long says each of these departments will see a decrease in money.

“These are not facts yet, but academics has an 8 to 10 percent target, non-academic has a 12 to 15 percent target and academic support has a 10 to 12 percent target for the money reduction,” Long said.

With no stimulus funds, another question rises. Will this affect students’ pockets? Tuition has increased each year for students, but it could increase more than usual next semester.

This past year the tuition increased 3 percent. Long explains their will likely be a tuition increase, but they will always keep the students in mind when raising the tuition.
“We are hoping for good subsidy results,” Long said. “States that have success have support for their higher education.”

As for the department that is feeling the cuts already, the Division of Continuing Education is upset about the closing of the department. With 8,500 course enrollments in the fiscal year 2010, it will unfortunately affect many people.

“Continuing Education staff members are disappointed with the decision to decentralize programs and close the Division of Continuing Education, although we know that this was a decision made after significant review and consideration,” Barbara Hanniford, Dean of Continuing Education said, “Our instructors are hopeful that workshops, seminars and courses they teach may be continued by academic units and that they will continue to have teaching opportunities.”

Although the Division is closing, most of the classes will still be offered in other departments by the university. “The university is in the early stages of transition planning, and we do not know at this time. We do expect that some programs will definitely continue, such as the Center for Emergency Preparedness, the English as a Second Language Program, the Patient Advocacy Certificate Program and the Nursing Refresher Course,” Hanniford said.

Even with the classes still in the university, it will be hard for students to know where to go so they can still take the classes needed. The university and the Division of Continuing Education hope that this change along with others to come from the decrease in money from the state will not have a negative effect on Cleveland State.

“It may be more difficult for potential participants to find information about programs or know what programs are available. A transition group is thinking about issues such as this,” Hanniford said. “We hope that the reorganization will not have a negative impact if a good variety of relevant, high quality programs continue to be available, the public can find information and have a central point of contact relatively easily, and if professionals such as nurses and social workers can still earn continuing education hours at CSU.”