The university will not be cutting the Master of Education program although students were told it was a possibility last week.
The College of Education and Human Services announced to students eligible to apply for the program that it could be cut. University provost Dr. Robert Rhodes said the university was considering other budget cuts that might have affected the program. Cuts would not have affected current students but could have impacted students in their junior year preparing to apply for the program to begin graduate coursework in 2019-20.
“We were reviewing programs based upon the budget work we’re doing right now,” Rhodes said.
The university board of trustees approved budget cuts of $7-8 million last month which could affect faculty and staff positions and certain programs.
“We will always examine factors such as student enrollment and the number of faculty in each program for budgetary planning,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes said the Department of Teacher Education wanted to make sure students were informed about the potential cuts. But some students posted concerns on Facebook when they heard the program could be cut.
Meagan Tunnell, junior elementary education major from Red Oak, wrote on her Facebook wall that her career plans would be uncertain without the program.
“Students were concerned understandably about something that was yet to be decided upon,” Rhodes said. “This was a point of discussion and not a decision.”
Within a week from the initial announcement to students, the university leadership decided the Master of Education program would not be affected by the cuts.
Dr. Dana Pemberton, chair of the Department of Teacher Education, sent an email to students Wednesday Dec. 6 saying the program would not be cut.
“After careful consideration, the ACU administration has decided to continue the M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning,” Pemberton’s email stated. “The impact on students and the quality of the program informed this decision. We are grateful that the administration is fully committed to providing this exceptional opportunity for our Teacher Education students.”
Rhodes said the university follows a detailed process before cutting any programs, including council review and faculty votes.