SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Technical Community College will restore five programs that were discontinued last year in response to projected budget shortfalls brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a news release sent to 22News, the STCC Board of Trustees voted Monday to support biomedical engineering technology, biotechnology, civil engineering technology, dental assisting, and landscape design and management.
STCC President John B. Cook said in the news release that the college will work to reinstate programs after open, transparent, and public conversations with college stakeholders about needs and resources.
“The vote by trustees was important and offers helpful direction for the college moving forward,” Cook said. “We know our unique programs make STCC special, and we will always strive to meet industry and workforce needs. Our faculty and staff remain passionate about the college’s mission. The depth of discussion and consideration in 2020 ensures we are a stronger institution in 2021.”
The college announced the discontinuation of seven programs as part of a broad set of cost-saving measures in June. Trustees established a committee to look at these programs including costs, enrollment, facilities, and equipment needs, and to consider questions of sustainability. Beyond the five programs, trustees will continue the examination of automotive technology and cosmetology.
STCC will work to relaunch the five programs in fall 2021, and the gross annual operating cost of these programs is approximately $500,000.
Due to COVID-19, the college experienced a 16 percent enrollment decline in the fall semester, and is projected to absorb a 20 percent decline in the spring semester, which together represents multiple millions in operating losses.
Chair of the STCC Board of Trustees, Marikate Murren, stated, “We know the college still has many significant challenges ahead, and financial resources are particularly important for trustees. Long term, trustees will continue to be involved in seeking input about what STCC can sustain, and how the board can support decision-making with constituents.”