Photo by Alondra Murillo/Viking Staff - Manuel Lopez, 44, Psychology Major walks across the new PCC Student Union Building which was once part of Hamilton Junior High in the late 1900s.
Photo by Alondra Murillo/Viking Staff – Manuel Lopez, 44, Psychology Major walks across the new PCC Student Union Building which was once part of Hamilton Junior High in the late 1900s.

By Robert Fullingim / Staff Writer

LBCC has plans to modernize its curriculum, which will bring more technologically advanced programs to PCC.

The end of the Spring semester saw 11 programs cut from LBCC, with most coming from PCC. The cuts were opposed by students, faculty and the community, but the Board of Trustees chose to continue with the cuts proposed by the administration.

Trustee Jeff Kellogg said in a previous statement, “Program discontinuance is part of the administration’s plan to restructure programs to adapt to the technological advances and students’ needs.” When talking about the discontinued programs and the administration’s plans moving forward, he said “The programs have no chance of returning. I know nobody wants to hear that, but it’s true. LBCC plans to move forward with new programs. Emerging careers and professions like cyber technology. Programs like that are not offered and it is a new industry that meets a huge demand.”

Kellogg gave no time frame for when new programs will be available. Instead, he said, “Developing curriculum is a long process and Community Colleges move slower than private schools. For this reason we need to be on the cutting edge.”

This is a new trend seen in all levels of education. Long Beach Unified School District is introducing a similar curriculum to the one planned at LBCC. The new Ernest S. McBride High School is a modern school offering advanced Career Technological Education. The schoolwas built by funds from voter approved Measure K ballot initiative that is similar to the Measure E initiative used to fund the construction at LBCC.

District Superintendent Chris Steinhauser said, “McBride offers an advanced CTE curriculum in three pathways: engineering, forensic science and biology. The development for McBride happened over a period of 10 years. Small learning communities were developed where students gave feedback and career modules were created reflecting their interests.”

Safir Wazed, 23, an engineering major at LBCC, was at the public opening of McBride with his sister Fariba, 14, who was one of the 210 freshmen chosen to attend McBride during its first year. Safir said “The program is similar to CAMS (a high school program held on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills), but this is closer, newer, and is an independent school.”

McBride reflects the direction in which LBCC wants to take its career programs at the PCC. Kellogg said, “Some of the space will be used for the remaining vocational programs and the rest will be to expand the academic curriculum.”

Marilyn Brock, interim dean of the career department said, “I am excited to be at LBCC now as it begins to emerge from a difficult period of budget reductions. I do not anticipate further reductions to programs. The focus now is to support and strengthen existing programs while also developing new programs to meet local workforce needs.”