RDC defends cuts to French, Spanish courses

Red Deer College is defending its decision to cut both French and Spanish language courses, citing declining enrolment and budgetary pressure.

Red Deer College is defending its decision to cut both French and Spanish language courses, citing declining enrolment and budgetary pressure.

But faculty are calling the cut short-sighted, saying second languages open doors in global markets.

On Wednesday, staff were notified of the decision to cut the courses. Torben Anderson, RDC interim VP academic, said these are the only programs being cut by the college. But he noted that budgeting would be done on an ongoing basis, meaning program changes could occur during the year.

In total, two full-time positions are being cut and a few part-time positions.

“It’s a combination of circumstances,” said Anderson. “We’re under significant budget pressure and the outlook is for those pressures to increase more and quite significantly over the next few years.

“Frankly, fewer students are choosing to take French or Spanish as electives.”

Ken Heather, faculty association of Red Deer College president, called the move disheartening.

“Administration can’t have it both ways,” said Heather. “For as long as we’ve heard it’s about having programs and meetings needs of the learners of Central Alberta and then you turn around and say to students in programs that have second languages in them that they have to go to other places and take the language courses in the third and fourth year of their degrees.

“Second languages open doors in global markets.”

The Alberta budget proposed by the Progressive Conservative government before the election included a 1.4 per cent cut to the Campus Alberta operating grant in 2015-16 and a 2.7 per cent cut in 2016-17.

According to the 2013-14 RDC budget, the college received about $57 million in operating grants from the provincial government.

“The course we are eliminating are an important part of what the college has done for many years,” said Anderson. “But they are also courses we’ve seen decline in enrolment. That’s been going on for a few years.”

Anderson said the college will work with students who were enrolled in the courses for the coming semesters to find alternative classes.

“We really regret we’re no longer able to provide these courses any longer,” he said. “We had great curriculum, we had fantastic instructors. It’s not at all an issue of quality, it’s an issue of cost and the number of students choosing to take advantage of these opportunities.”

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

VICTORIA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa is open to proposals… Continue reading

Oil price rises on Mideast tensions, stock markets cautious

BANGKOK — The price of oil rose on Friday after the U.S.… Continue reading

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in airline industry

Mandalena Lewis was enjoying a layover in Hawaii with her WestJet co-workers… Continue reading

Alta Mental Health Act found unconstitutional after man held for nine months

CALGARY — An Alberta judge has found parts of the province’s Mental… Continue reading

Motorcross riders perform heart-stopping stunts at Red Deer’s Westerner Days

‘I wanted to see how far I could push myself and my machine,’ says rider

Golf Canada’s 2020 Olympic preparations on track with qualifying formula helping

Fifteen years ago, golfers didn’t have to worry about making the Olympics.… Continue reading

Canadian women confirmed for second trip to Rugby League World Cup

TORONTO — Canada has been confirmed as one of eight women’s teams… Continue reading

Tom Cruise surprises Comic-Con with ‘Top Gun’ sequel trailer

SAN DIEGO — Tom Cruise has made an unexpected flyby at San… Continue reading

Warm memories, hit singles: Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings reunite for charity show

TORONTO — Former Guess Who bandmates Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings reunited… Continue reading

Calgary Stampeders bounce back with 26-16 win over Toronto Argonauts

Stampeders 26 Argonauts 16 CALGARY — Juwan Brescacin hauled in a pair… Continue reading

Chris Sale snaps Fenway losing streak, beats Blue Jays 5-0

Red Sox 5 Blue Jays 0 BOSTON — That was a relief.… Continue reading

Critics and industry clash over accuracy of Alberta well cleanup cost estimates

CALGARY — An Alberta coalition that says oil and gas producers are… Continue reading

Rapelling from great heights to grant Red Deer wishes

Twenty brave individuals will rappel 13 storeys down Stantec Executive Place on… Continue reading

Most Read