By Julie Wiessner
The continuing financial uncertainty in our state and nation has created the need for an increase in tuition and fees at many institutions of higher learning, including Northland Pioneer College. The Navajo County Community College District Governing Board approved the proposed increases in tuition and fee costs Tuesday.
Tuition will increase by $2 per credit hour, taking it from $62 to $64. The fee increase would vary, however, depending on classes taken.
On average, a one-year enrollment in general classes at NPC would increase from $1,930 for this year to $1,990, a difference of $60, for 2013-14. The cost for tuition and fees would leave NPC with the second lowest general proposed tuition and fees when compared to nine other community colleges around the state, but $70 more per year than Eastern Arizona College’s proposed general tuition and fees.
Many of the fees for courses are connected to materials used and media fees, and many would remain the same, with new fees for new or redesigned classes, a few fees raised or lowered, and one deleted.
New fees include $45 per class for all construction classes, a $10 fee for Basic Pharmacology classes, a $10 fee for Pharmacology I and II classes, a $40 fee for Clinical Procedures I and an $80 fee for Clinical Procedures II.
A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Registered Nurse Transition, Nursing I, II, III and IV, and the Registered Nurse Refresher course fees are now $400, up from $200 for each class. Some Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Fire Science courses have increased $5 to $10 over current fees. The Intensive Police Academy Program fee is now $200 per semester with a $500 total program fee cap.
Fees that have decreased are the Advanced Power Plant Specific Training fees from $145 down to $75 for 2014.
Fees eliminated altogether are the $35 graduation fee, the $15 special certificate fee and the $10 student emergency loan-processing fee.
In other action, the board approved combining business classes with Administrative Information Services (AIS) and eliminating AIS as a program. “The problem was, there was a lot of duplication within these two programs and reduced enrollment in the AIS program,” stated Vice President for Learning and Student Services Mark Vest. By combining the two programs into the Business Program, the redundancy is eliminated and the business classes are updated.
Other curriculum changes that were approved included the new Mechatronics classes/program, which will serve the potash mines, Pioneer Forest Products and manufacturing jobs in general. “The classes are a combination of mechanical, electrical and robotics classes to make handheld controllers,” relayed Vest.
Two classes have also been added to the curriculum for six different programs of studies that will transfer to the three state universities as electives (or better). The classes are Art 215-Native American Art and Music 250-World Music. Vest noted that faculty is already in place; no additional hiring will be necessary.
Also approved was a new paramedic to RN program. “There is a need for an EMT to nursing course,” said Vest. “Currently there are from 15 to 20 people in the county who are interested in this type of program. These people are already experienced, but need some classes in order to transition into a nursing degree.” The faculty and staff are already in place, and there are five classes needed to bridge the gap.
Presenting information from the NPC Foundation, Lance Chugg noted that a few applications were still trailing in late, and they do have some extra money. “If students want summer school scholarships, apply now and we will see what we can do,” he said. The endowment fund has grown, and Lisitsky Endowment funds are still available for Apache, Navajo and Hopi students.
The board also approved a lease with Kayenta Township at a new location for $2,420.78 per month for a period of five years with an option to extend for years. The location is more visible, has a better layout and is at a lower cost than the existing facility, and NPC would be the sole tenant.
The four-year rolling cycle replacement of aging computer equipment on 100 computers priced at $71,970 was approved, as well as a grant that pays for $70,000 of the replacement price, which was provided by Western States Contracting Alliance/National Association of State Procurement Officials.
By Julie Wiessner