Study Abroad Program is canceled for 2012
Natalie Sripongkosol, Staff Writer
September 21, 2011
Filed under News
Students hoping to spend time practicing their Spanish in Madrid or sketching Renaissance architecture in Florence must now look outside EC, as 2012’s Study Abroad Program has been canceled.
With budgetary woes continuing to force cuts across campus, the administration announced its decision earlier this year to cancel the forthcoming winter and summer sessions in favor of more campus-centered programs, a Study Abroad administrator said.
“This has been the discussion since we’ve been in a budget crisis; trimming programs and putting the emphasis on campus programs has been one of the goals, to serve as many students as possible,” Gloria Miranda, dean in charge of the program, said.
Faculty salaries and some incidentals for the Study Abroad Program come from an allocation of EC’s General Fund. But, students pay for their regular registration fees and books as well as for airfare, lodgings, excursions and the cost of meals, Miranda said.
“It’s a very small budget,” Miranda said. “We try to get the best price for students, but they cover the burden of the cost if they want to go abroad.”
Destinations for the 2012 program had not yet been confirmed when word of the cancellation began circulating in a memo to faculty last spring.
The news did not come as a surprise to Mike Stallings, architecture professor and leader of last summer’s Florence program.
“I’ve seen the direction that the administration has been taking,” Stallings said. “We don’t have a lot [of money], that is true. But how much extra does the program actually cost compared to its rewards?”
The cultural enrichment students receive and the educational outcome offered keeps the Study Abroad Advisory Committee, which is composed of faculty from different divisions, motivated in working towards reinstating the program, Miranda said.
“We plan to meet and discuss strategies about how we can pursue Study Abroad in the future and perhaps reorganize our approach, as well,” Miranda said.
While Miranda said that the Study Abroad program is only on hiatus, she has no tentative date for any future programs.
“Hopefully it will not last as long as the budget crisis and if that’s the case, I hope that the crisis ends sooner than later,” Miranda said.