Announcement follows year-long assessment of programs and expenditures
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Feb. 13, 2023)–Kirkwood Community College has announced it will be making changes to academic offerings and instituting cost-saving initiatives following an internal review of its operations. The move will align the institution’s resources with current student needs, and will include adjustments to program options, personnel and other expenses.
In terms of credit offerings, the college will be closing the Dental Technology and Energy Production and Distribution Technologies programs due to low enrollment. The closures will take effect once current students have finished their studies in those areas. Kirkwood officials have begun exploring the possibility of a non-credit energy production offering, which would allow the college to continue to serve the needs of that industry.
The institution’s Continuing Education & Training Services division will also be making modifications to its Truck Driving program following a long-term viability analysis. Declining enrollment numbers over the last five years, in addition to the significant and ongoing cost of maintaining up-to-date technology and equipment, has prompted the college to eliminate the behind-the-wheel portion of its CDL-A program after the current class finishes. Discussions have begun with a third party to provide driver training for students as a compliment to classroom instruction at Kirkwood. The move has the support of area transportation companies and more details about the future of the CDL-A program will be announced in the coming weeks.
In addition to programming changes, a small reduction in the number of faculty and staff has also been announced. These adjustments were made as a result of program changes, facility closures and lower enrollment in some areas of the college.
According to Kirkwood President Lori Sundberg, implementing these changes will bring future budgets in line with expected revenue and will allow the institution to allocate financial resources where they are most needed.
“Part of our mission is to identify community needs in order to provide exceptional education and training for the communities we serve across our seven counties,” said Sundberg. “Those needs change over time. As an institution tasked with being good stewards of the public funds we receive, it is our duty to change with them. While that sometimes involves difficult decisions, we are making these changes in order to better serve our area. At the same time, the higher ed landscape is shifting to focus more attention on student-support, and Kirkwood has adjusted our approach and resources accordingly to increase student retention and completion. The greater the number of our graduates, the greater the impact they will have on our region.”