A September enrollment of zero students is causing the Northwest Community College to close the doors of the Houston Learning Centre on June 30th.
That means supports offered at the campus to non-enrolled students will be discontinued.
The programs that have seen zero enrollment include Career and College Preparation and Career Development.
“Those short-term programs – enrollments have dropped significantly – I think they dropped by about 75 per cent in the last year alone largely due to resource industry declines,” says Vice President Justin Kohlman.
He says the career and college preparation numbers have dropped from 27 full-time students three years ago to 14 this year and zero for September.
Kohlman says they’re keeping ownership of the building and are in talks with community groups to possibly have it leased.
He says if something like the Huckleberry Mine opened their doors things could turn around.
“If we have sustainable ongoing programming in the region, then we would definitely look at reopening the campus.”
He also says they’re partnering with the high school to offer trades training like mil-rite foundations and intro to trades. He says trades will also be offered in the community through their Mobile Trades Training Unit to meet needs.
NWCC says it’s come to the point where keeping the doors open is no longer economically viable. Closing the campus will save the college about $75,000 a year.
NWCC says they’re working with their 3 staff and respective unions to determine if other employment opportunities are available.
“We are hopeful that in time, demand will return sufficiently to reopen the doors,” says NWCC President, Ken Burt.
“We know and appreciate the exceptional amount of work the staff, faculty and community have put in to make the Houston campus a success,” says Burt. “We routinely hear of the terrific work our staff are doing there and are proud of their efforts.”