On March 30, 2017 Consolidated School of Business (CSB) Lancaster campus will be forced to close its doors. Their York campus will remain open which Lancaster students will be able to transfer to. Since the number of enrolled students dropped from 200 to 57 in about 20 years, a three quarter decrease, the institution had no choice but to merge campuses. Bill Hoyt, the vice president of CSB, assures the public that all students will be able to transfer. However, the same cannot be said about the staff. Only 85% of faculty will be able to transfer with the students.
Along with declining enrollment, the school’s accreditation agency, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), has been revoked by the Department of Education. This allows federal financial aid to be given to students; a necessity to many.
Luckily, the classes and programs offered are very similar on both campuses, so the transition should be “smooth”. CSB has been providing students with direct training in a wide range of fields such as business administration, computerized accounting, and legal administration training. These can be used to better one’s current career or allow for future employment opportunities.
Like Consolidated School of Business, HACC has several locations: Harrisburg, York, Lebanon, Gettysburg, and Lancaster. HACC also offers a wide range of majors and training for students that can be used to obtain an associates degree or can transfer to other colleges for further education. Merging of campuses, like CSB, may be of concern to some HACC students.
On February 22, 2017 John Sygielski, the President of HACC, also known as Dr. Ski, held an open forum where students and faculty were briefed on important happenings on campus and encouraged to ask questions. He began the meeting by talking about the budget. Sensing the issues as hand, he warmly assured everyone, “we’re okay, we’re okay”.
Dr. Ski started at the federal level stating that he along with a few other individuals, held a conference call with Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, and she stressed “the value of community colleges in the nation” and the importance of duel enrollment. The American Association of Community Colleges is keeping in contact, but there have not been any policy updates as of yet.
On the state level, HACC is “level funded” meaning that the budget will remain the same as last year. He said that he began talking to legislators and the governor asking, “why?”. Many other schools such as Thaddeus Stevens and Temple are getting an increase in budget, but not HACC.
However, he mentioned a two percent increase of salary and no furloughs for employees as well as a one percent drop in tuition for students. He says that overall it’s been “a good year”.
Although the closing of CSB’s Lancaster campus may have HACC students uneasy, according to Dr. Ski’s updates, Lancaster campus students do not have anything to worry about.