Closure of Houston Northwest Community College

On May 16 the Northwest Community College (NWCC) announced that the Houston NWCC campus will be closing

Houston Northwest Community College to close June 30, 2017.

Houston Northwest Community College to close June 30, 2017.

On May 16 the Northwest Community College (NWCC) announced that the Houston NWCC campus will be closing due to a decline in low student enrollment. “Based on current student numbers, and anticipated future demographic projects, it is not sustainable to keep a campus open in the region,” said Justin Kohlman, vice president of education, students & international for the NWCC. “We are instead offering programming with the school district to meet demand in areas such as millwright and intro to trades.” Kohlman says that in short term programming, demand fluctuates with industry, “and it’s at an all time low right now.” “In career and college preparations, we’ve dropped from 27 full time students to 14 over the last three years. If demand for ongoing programming returns, we would be happy to reopen the campus,” he said. Originally a meeting was scheduled with the District of Houston council and a representative of the Northwest Community College a couple of weeks before the closure was announced, but was cancelled due to an emergency on the representative’s part. “The meeting was cancelled for last Wednesday, but a meeting will take place in early June to share the regional demographics with the community members, to discuss progress that has been made on leasing the space to local users for community,” said Kohlman. At the council meeting on May 16 the closure of NWCC Houston campus was mentioned in the mayor’s report to which John Siebenga, counsellor for the District of Houston, said that last year when they had talked to NWCC, the college did not foresee a closure to the Houston campus. When asked what changed, Kohlman said, “While overall registrations for the college is up, demand for programming in Houston continues to decline. Combined with projections for even lower demand in the short and medium-term it does not make sense to pay to keep open a building when we can offer the programming that is needed in conjunction with the school district.” Kohlman says the NWCC will continue to form better relations with Houston and council through its involvement in community groups, programs with the school district, and advisers working in the area. “We will continue to be involved in community groups, such as minerals north in the region, our advisers will continue to work in the area, and we will continue offering programming such as the millwright program with the school district,” said Kolhman. Jonathan Van Barneveld, counsellor for the district of Houston asked mayor Shane Brienen to inquire as to how much the operating costs are of the NWCC Houston campus, “I think the CHESS [Community Health, Education, and Social Services] committee would be interested in the future use of that space if available.” Kohlman responded to Houston Today saying that it costs $75,000 per year to keep the facility open, excluding staff costs. Currently there are three staff members working at the Houston NWCC campus. “We are working with each of them and their respective unions to find them the best opportunities for their individual needs. That will take a couple weeks and is a very high priority for us,” said Kohlman. “We know and appreciate the exceptional amount of work the staff, faculty and community have put in to make the Houston campus a success,” said NWCC President, Ken Burt. “We routinely hear of the terrific work our staff are doing there and are proud of their efforts.” The Houston NWCC campus will close on June 30, 2017 to ensure that currently enrolled students will be able to complete their studies

 

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