Owensboro Community and Technical College is making program changes to better prepare students for today's economy and meet the economic development needs of the region.
OCTC will add new programs, expand programs and close two programs.
"We have to position the college to meet the needs of the economy. That's why we're here," said OCTC President Jim Klauber.
We have to focus our resources on high wage, high demand jobs."
OCTC is seeking approval for new associate degree programs from the Council on Post secondary Education and the KCTCS Board of Regents.
Associate degrees are planned for the diesel and automotive technology programs.
A new veterinary technology program is preparing to offer associate degrees, while a new medical information technology program is preparing to offer associate degrees as well as certificates.
Through the OCTC Foundation, the college has acquired a Hancock County building that will be converted into welding labs.
This move will allow OCTC to expand its workforce development offerings at its Hancock County Center. The culinary arts and cosmetology programs will close.
Current students will be allowed to complete their studies. Culinary arts will close in June of this year, and cosmetology will close in June 2014.
Klauber said the decision to close a program is never easy.
"We constantly evaluate programs based on the number of graduates they produce, the credentials they award and fiscal accountability.
We have to look at all of those things and the relevance to the regional economy," Klauber said. The college plans to convert the culinary arts area to a biology lab that will be used by the Community Campus Biomedical Academy.
Community Campus is a collaborative program of area colleges and high schools. Plans for the cosmetology area have not been finalized, but that space will likely be used for technical programs. "We are very short on technical lab space," Klauber said. In addition to changes on its campuses, OCTC is expanding its online offerings.
Announcements are expected soon regarding new online and hybrid programs.
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