VIU shuts down continuing studies department

Move is a blow to students, teachers

Vancouver Island University is shutting down its continuing studies department, but there will not be a lot of change for students, especially in Parksville.

The change is more of an administrative restructuring with programs being moved to other departments.

The university is phasing out what they call general interest courses, one-off courses in things like cake making, dog grooming, head message or various arts.

VIU spokeswoman Toni O’Keeffe said programs like adult basic education, Parksville’s Elder College and all the credential granting programs that used to fall under continuing studies will move into the most appropriate departments.

The courses will be phased out by 2012, but will not be cancelled, O’Keeffe added. Anything already scheduled will go ahead, but they are not scheduling new ones.

Few of the courses being phased out are offered at the Parksville campus, she pointed out, with Elder College continuing to offer many popular courses, so the changes will be minimal.

O’Keeffe said the restructuring will save the university $500,000 to $1 million a year with the elimination of continuing study’s marketing and registration departments and eight administrative positions.

She said there is duplication in administrative functions and they have been considering the move for a couple years as enrolment in those courses drops and similar courses are offered online, or by municipalities, community groups and the regional district.


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