If it weren’t enough of a hassle for students to get their classes each semester, and for USF to fund these classes for that matter, it is increasingly discouraging to discover certain required courses have been eliminated completely.
Unfortunately, this is the reality for some students in the College of Education. As the St. Petersburg Times reported, USF is “reluctantly” getting rid of three bachelor degree programs so St. Petersburg College can add them to its curriculum. Enrolled students need not worry though. If they are already in one of the three programs leaving the university, then they will be able to finish the area of study where they began.USF plans on phasing out business education, industrial-technical education and technology education by next fall, all three of which are four-year degrees. SPC will start its degree programs in these areas in January 2005, making it the only college in the Tampa Bay area offering these educational degrees. The Times reported that USF’s dean of the College of Education, Colleen Kennedy, discussed that limited resources due to the fiscal situation played a big part in this decision.
As W. Robert Sullins, dean for Undergraduate Studies at USF, explained via e-mail, the faculty members in the areas of career and technical education have been dropping in number for the past 10 years due to declining resources.
Sullins explained that USF hopes that by the end of the 2005 spring semester, students now in these programs will all have graduated and three full-time faculty members will be able to devote their efforts to the growing on-line master’s degree program in career and technical education and other graduate course program options.
Students still wishing to seek a degree in any of these three areas will be referred to SPC to pursue the degree program there. Thankfully, USF and SPC are working together closely, making sure the transition is smooth and efficient. Even though it is unfortunate to see three valuable degree programs expiring, USF should be commended for accommodating students.