By Warren Sink – Collegiate Staff
Fluctuating enrollment and the college’s planned response was the focus of Grand Rapids Community College President Steven Ender’s State of the College address that he delivered at Student Alliance’s first meeting of the winter semester.
During the Jan. 22 address, Ender emphasized a commitment by the administration to not scrounge donations from alumni and sponsors, but to make budget reductions and said certain programs lost more money than took in and highlighted the dental, culinary, and nursing programs as problem areas.
Under a new tiered tuition program proposed for next fall, Ender said the Dental and Culinary program rates will increase from $106 to $140 per credit hour, and nursing program classes will increase to $178. These tuition increases are not for general-education courses, but for specialized program classes.
In an email sent by Lisa Freiburger, Vice President for Finance and Administration, she said, “A nursing student would pay the higher rate for a nursing course, but would pay the standard, lower rate for an English course.”
Students already committed to programs will be “grandfathered in,” and not be subject to the new rates.
“All numbers are preliminary at this point,” Freiburger said. “Tuition will be presented to the Board for approval in March.”
Ender also touched on summer construction plans. The music building will be renovated, and all GRCC buildings will have fire sprinklers installed. The only buildings that currently have fire sprinklers are the Calkins Science Center and a section of the Applied Technology Center. Furthermore, a new preschool and kindergarten lab facility are a part of the planned construction.
The meeting ended with Gamma Theta Upsilon and Christian Fellowship asking for funds. GTU was granted approximately $2,400 for a trip to California, where they will attend the 2015 Geographical Society Conference. The CF was granted $2,000 for a trip to New York City, where they will serve the local community.