The Vernon campus of Sprott-Shaw Community College has decided to close its doors after nine years of serving the community.
“We just don’t have enough students,” said Patrick Dang, president of the college.
Enrollment has been declining for a considerable amount of time.
The downtown Vernon campus has about 20 students right now, 270 total in its nine year history, which means sometimes only two or three in a class.
The decision to shut down the campus this fall was made four or five weeks ago, says Dang, and they have been working hard to make sure the closure goes smoothly.
“We’ve done our best to accommodate all of our staff,” he said.
As many as possible have been transferred to other campuses.
The same goes for the students who have either been transferred to other campuses, with a travel allowance, or have been permitted to stay until they have completed their current course.
The campus won’t be officially closed until those courses are done in three to six months.
The campus has been running with six to 10 staff working at a time, and offering six to 10 courses in the fields of administrative assistant, health care assistant, business administration, community support worker, social services, medical office assistant and legal secretary.
Sprott-Shaw trains more than 3,000 students a year, but in a community such as Vernon, with several other educational opportunities nearby including UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College, Dang said it just isn’t attracting enough students to keep it going.
Sprott-Shaw’s campuses in Duncan and Courtney are slated for closure as well.