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News Education

The newest government target for budget cuts may soon be affecting local community colleges. Many Western North Carolina colleges are being considered for a possible merge including Southwestern Community College (SCC).

The N.C. General Assembly’s Program Evaluation Division (PED) has released a report evaluating the cost of the N.C. Community College system. According to the report, if 22 community colleges with less than 3,000 full time students merged with a larger community college within a 30-mile radius, $5.1 million could be saved annually in administrative costs and around $3.5 million saved in other costs. Smaller community colleges have a higher administrative cost per student than larger schools so by merging nearby community colleges, the administrative cost would be reduced without having to close any campuses.


“Status quo” isn’t in Don Tomas’ vocabulary.

“We figured Dr. Tomas would be an excellent leader but we didn’t realize how fast he would hit the ground running,” said Conrad Burrell, chairman of Southwestern Community College’s Board of Trustees.

When he assumed his duties as Southwestern’s new president on July 1, Tomas immediately plunged into a whirlwind of activity.

That’s just his style, according to the athletic Tomas, who earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and his master’s in adapted physical education.


A $15.5 million renovation of a nearly 40-year-old residence hall at Western Carolina University set to begin in mid-July features enough energy- saving and sustainability features to qualify the building for LEED certification.

“As part of our campus planning, we have evaluated all residence halls and determined which facilities need to be replaced and which can be renovated, and Harrill Residence Hall was one we were excited to be able to develop a practical – and also green – design to modernize,” said Keith Corzine, director of residential living. “This renovation is just another step in realizing a better overall quality of student life here at WCU.”


Local teachers take educational trip to China

Even teachers take part in continuing education.

The Western Region Education Service Alliance (WRESA) sponsors tours for teachers to go to China. China is the only destination offered thus far, however, WRESA wants to expand the program to include more places.

Forty educators in all went on the trip; four teachers from Franklin and three from Highlands.


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