Posted: Mar 6, 2013 7:47 PM by Victoria Fregoso - MTN News
CROW AGENCY - Faculty layoffs and elimination of the summer session are some potential effects sequestration can have on Little Big Horn College.
"We're looking at four day work weeks, we're also looking at possibly furloughing possibly half of our employees for two weeks or even more," said Little Big Horn College President David Yarlott.
The school could lose up to $700,000 in funding. This puts finances under close examination. "I used to look at it once a week, but now it's like a daily thing where I need to take a look at it," said Aldean Good Luck, Chief Finance Officer at Little Big Horn College.
The college predicts it'll eliminate six faculty positions. In combination with the reduction of the school week to four days, the college president sees this creating an interruption in the learning process. "With our faculty, we have a 10 to 1, 14 to 1 ratio. When those students don't have that contact, it's less likely that they'll be able to pursue their education in a timely manner and finish in a timely manner also."
Because it will take students longer to complete their degrees, college administration fears the elimination of the summer program could create a domino effect. "They're in danger of meeting a Pell (Grant) cap. And then they won't be able to complete their degrees without having financial assistance," Yarlott said.
School officials believe education should not be viewed as an expense, but as an investment. "It's an investment in our young people," Yarlott said. "People that become educated are less likely to be on welfare, are less likely to commit crimes. They're more likely to get better jobs and they're more likely to pay taxes."
Fort Peck Community College is also preparing for the impact of sequestration. It plans to close its community based Wellness Center, eliminate its GED Program and end extracurricular activities for students.