Updated 03/20/2013 10:24 PM
OCC to deactivate Respiratory Care Program
One long time program at Onondaga Community College is being deactivated. The school will finish out the Respiratory Care Program after current students graduate next year. Our Iris St. Meran takes a look at the reasons behind the move and why it's not unusual for OCC to remove programs.
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ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Some may call it a sign of the times. But outside factors were the driving force behind Onondaga Community College's decision to end the Respiratory Care Program.
Provost and Senior Vice President Cathleen McColgin said, “Some of the information that we received has to do with the limited number of individuals who are retiring from the profession. Additionally, we have heard that some of the hospitals have hiring freezes."
That makes it challenging for graduates to find jobs as respiratory care therapists locally. The program has been around since the mid seventies and 700 to 800 students have graduated with a degree in this field.
Currently, there are 19 freshmen and seven sophomores enrolled in the program. The freshmen will be allowed to continue the program into the next academic year and they'll earn their A.A.S. Degree next May. No new students will be admitted to the program.
Workforce demands are higher in other industries. McColgin says they're adding two new programs in the fall: Ophthalmic Assistant and Nuclear Energy Technology.
"Onondaga will become the 38th college in the country authorized by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to offer such an associate degree program and in partnership with Constellation Energy," McColgin added.
The provost says these are difficult, but necessary, changes to keep current and to offer students the best options for their futures.