By Elizabeth Cheruto
On Jan. 23 the LBCC Board of Trustees voted to discontinue 11 programs, including the aviation maintenance program, effective July 1.
Rose Vance, 31, an aviation maintenance major, said, “I am beyond disappointed by the college’s decision to eliminate aviation maintenance among other programs.
“I made personal adjustments like selling my house to move to Long Beach in order to take these classes.
Taking this class is the only reason I am in college,” Vance said in tears.
“Why can’t they let the students who are in these programs finish and then discontinue if they have to,” Vance said.
Bobby Tillis, 25, a photography major, is another student affected by the Board’s decision to eliminate his major.
Tillis has only four units left to finish his program that requires 43 units to transfer to a four-year university.
Tillis said, “With 39 units done, I am very worried about the remaining four units needed, I hope I will get a chance to finish before the end of the semester.”
Tillis has not registered for Spring classes, yet he is hoping to get counseling on what classes to take before he registers.
Richard Gate, a former LBCC student, wrote in a letter to the Press Telegram, “I fail to see why our educators find benefit in allowing our community to discourage the very trades that them and the rest of the community will need for services in Long Beach.”
LBCC President Eloy Oakley said he and his staff will be meeting with the affected students to offer them counseling and guidance on the way forward.
He added that every program serves a need and the 11 discontinued programs served a need for a group of students.
“It is unfortunate we have to choose some programs to cut due to the limited resources available,” Oakley added.
Ashley Patton, 21, a Spanish and biology major, said, “Even though my major was not affected, I feel very bad for the students whose classes were affected.”
Majee Wilbur, 22, an undecided major, added, “It is very hard to finish school within two years. It will be even harder with fewer classes.”
Christopher Chinn, the Art Department chair, said cutting the programs is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
The counseling department has begun discontinuance workshops on both campuses to help students explore other certification options.
Students will be notified by email of the date, time and location for the next workshop.
A public meeting has been scheduled by the Board for Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. in T-1100 at the LAC to determine the future for students and teachers affected by the discontinuance.