The theatre arts program at Algonquin has been suspended until further notice due to performance issues in the curriculum.
After the Board of Governors meeting on Feb. 8, a motion was passed to suspend the program so that it could be re-evaluated for future students.
“That program, while running very high in student satisfaction, it wasn’t meeting the contribution standard and also students were having a hard time finding jobs,” said Cheryl Jensen, the president of the college.
Every program at the college is subject to an annual evaluation in order to determine its effectiveness and impact after graduation. In recent years the theatre arts program has been performing below satisfactory levels.
“Sometimes programs come out of their re-evaluation better, sometimes programs have a certain lifetime and it’s time to make changes,” said Jensen.
The motion at the BOG meeting passed with only one member opposed.
“The landscape of theatre has changed and the college is going to use this opportunity to create stronger programs that will serve the students and the industry better,” said Teri Loretto-Valentik, a theatre arts professor.
“The coincident approval of five new program offerings in addition to the theatre arts program suspension is very much a response to changing market needs and essential in positioning students for future employment success,” said Jim Brockbank, the chair of the Academic and Student Affair Committee.
The program suspension is effective as of September 2016 and students who are currently enrolled in the program will be allowed to finish their diploma. Additionally, students who have enrolled in the program but are not attending courses will be able to return to finish their diploma.
Instructors affected by the program suspension will be given the opportunity to teach in other subjects offered by the college. The Employment Stability Committee will work with the faculty union to allow for continued employment while the theatre arts program is under its suspension.
“It is much easier to start a program than it is to let one go,” said Jensen.