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News Education

Western Carolina University Chancellor David O. Belcher announced Thursday, July 18, that the university will proceed with the phased discontinuation of 10 of the 13 academic programs previously recommended by a campus task force for closure.

Belcher also announced that programs in motion picture and television production, Spanish and Spanish education, which had been recommended for discontinuation, will be retained, with program directors responsible for developing action plans to address weaknesses and take steps toward improvement.


Before enrolling in Southwestern Community College’s Firefighter Academy, Sean Sullivan and Joshua Price helped their respective community fire departments by fetching equipment and working in the background.

Now they can be on the front lines.

Sullivan, Price, and five other area students completed 572 hours of intensive training in less than three months and became the program’s first graduating class on June 29 at SCC’s Public Safety Training Center (SCC-PSTC).


The WestCare Foundation recently honored seven students from schools in Jackson and Swain counties with the Anne and Robert Landsman Fund Award. Students who are graduating from middle or high school are nominated by their guidance counselors and meet criteria set by former teacher Adele Gurevich, daughter of Anne and Robert Landsman, who established the Landsman Fund through the WestCare Foundation. Gurevich selects students who are not typically recognized in an academic setting, and who may have overcome personal obstacles to achieve academic success. The students received a monetary prize and a certificate to commemorate the occasion.


A class entitled “Birding Beyond Our Borders” will be offered in Highlands at the Center for Life Enrichment on Thursday, July 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. Worldwide birder Romney Bathurst will present the why, what, where and how to approach international birding, based on her 12 years of experience and travels to more than 50 countries in search of birds and wildlife.

Using photos, texts and field guides, the class will dip into the broad range of avifauna to be seen, some 9,000-plus species of birds. The class is open to birders of all levels as well as armchair travelers.

“Birding is a great excuse to travel, and travel is a super opportunity to bird,” says Romney.

Sign up for the course online at or by calling (828)526-8811. The course will be at the new auditorium facility at the Peggy Crosby Center, 348 S. Fifth St. in Highlands. For questions, call CLE or Romney at (828)526-1939.

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