CNC Board Approves Tuition Hike, Suspension of Nursing Assistant Program
Prince George, B.C. – Students at the College of New Caledonia will be forced to cough up more money for tuition for the 2017/18 school year.
This after the College’s Board of Governors approved a two per cent increase at their meeting this afternoon.
The College estimates the hike will contribute approximately $130,000 to the school’s base operating budget.
President Henry Reiser called it “a modest increase” – noting it amounts to $20 a student a semester for each course.
“What happened is in 2003 we had a tuition freeze and the provincial government has allowed us to increase tuition by a two per cent limit annually. And so, we are just fulfilling that requirement by government,” he said after the meeting.
“If we do not increase our tuition, then we are responsible for any of the financial consequences. We have fixed costs that increase on an annual basis like heat, hydro, electricity, everything, including the cost of paper and the cost of U.S. dollars. So, this is to try and offset those costs as they increase.”
Reiser also pointed out CNC continues to have, on average, some of the lowest tuition fees in the province. For example, he said the average tuition at CNC is $2,600 – well below the provincial average of $2,900.
The tuition hike passed by a 9-2 vote (one Board member abstained). Mark Wendling, the Faculty Employee Board representative, abstained, noting the issue has been keeping him “up at night.”
“Having to vote for the increase helps reflect the flaws and how broken post-secondary education funding is,” he said, noting faculty members were split on the issue. “The reason I say that is if we don’t pass the motion, then it’s a signal to the government we don’t need money.”
Today the Board also voted unanimously to suspend the 2017 intake into the College’s Nursing Unit Assistant program.
Education Council chair Jacob Madjitey noted the one-year suspension “would be appropriate to make the program more relevant.”
Reiser added the suspension was driven by employers in the community.
“It was determined by the employer group that the skills profile that the graduates possessed didn’t meet their requirements. And as a result, it takes time to re-write the curriculum so only the intake has been suspended,” he said.
“The same way we suspended the intake of the Dental Hygiene program. We said two years was the target for that but the target is one year for this program.”
The Dental Hygiene program returns this fall.