No axe for Selkirk Aviation Program - yet
The future of Selkirk College’s renowned Aviation Program is precarious as best, but rumours it was closed altogether at a recent college board meeting are inaccurate, according to Selkirk president Angus Graeme.
“I know the rumours swirl, and we’ve had to have some very difficult conversations with our faculty around the sustainability of particular programs in their current state,” he said, explaining the campuses are aging, aviation equipment is expensive, and Selkirk is competing with five other institutions in BC which offer similar programming.
He said the board, at its meeting on June 24, made no new decisions regarding the program, which is now being “reassessed”.
“Nothing changed at the board meeting Tuesday,” he said, speculating that the source of the rumours of full closure are based on the college’s current efforts to, “find potential options for (existing three aviation) students if we’re still not ready (to resume the program) by September.”
He said, with only three students, “We’ve got some learning environment issues to contend with,” adding rumours they turned away 22 potential students last year are untrue. “We had 22 applications, but application rates do not necessarily convert to fully qualified students. It would normally take a pool of about that many to get three fully qualified students.”
He did say there may have to be some very difficult decisions pushed in the future, due to administrative necessity, but asserted the college will not close the aviation program without notifying the community.
“We understand this program has impacts and connections to the region that are fairly unique,” he said. “We would send out a press release if any decisions are made about its future.”