Beginning this fall, Dalton State College will no longer offer classes at the DSC Catoosa Center in Fort Oglethorpe in order to reduce costs for the coming year, college officials announced today.
Because of a shortfall in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget, the college is operating at a 12 per-cent deficit from this time last year, and the administration has been asked to hold back an additional six percent of operating funds until the health of the state’s economy improves, officials say.
“We are very disappointed that we have to take this action in order to cut costs,” says Dr. John Schwenn, Dalton State president.
“But with the budget constraints, we have to make the best use of our resources in order to carry out the college’s mission, which is to educate as many Georgians as possible within the confines of our budget.”
Schwenn says that 94 percent of students who have taken classes through the DSC Ca-toosa Center, located in the City Hall complex, have also taken classes on the main campus in Dalton, so for the vast majority, the commute to the main campus is not a hindrance to pursuing their educational goals.
“On the Dalton campus, we are able to place as many as 40 students in most classes, which means we are able to educate larger numbers of students here than we could at the DSC Catoosa Center, where many of the classes do not make, and the class size averaged only 10 students.”
Those smaller classes and the operating costs associated with maintaining a separate fa-cility have taken a toll on the college’s budget, Schwenn noted, saying that it makes better use of state resources to consolidate those courses on the main campus during these tough financial times.
The college will save approximately $75,000 by consolidating the DSC Catoosa Center classes on the main campus.
“It may be possible to reopen the DSC Catoosa Center in the future when the state budget improves,” he says.
Although the center will be closed, all of the faculty who have been teaching there will continue to be employed by the college, but will teach at either the main campus or the DSC at Ellijay campus in Gilmer County.
The Ellijay campus is about 45 minutes from the main campus and is primarily serving the needs of residents living in Gilmer, Pickens, Fannin and Dawson counties. All of the classes scheduled there for fall have been filled, Schwenn says.