Southern California's Glendale Community College May Drop A&P Class

Cites Falling Enrollment In 60-Year Old Program Saying there’s not much demand for airplane mechanics, Southern California’s Glendale Community College says it may drop its 60-year old A&P vocational program. A decision is expected as early as Monday. “It’s very, very difficult to meet the needs of students when there’s low enrollment because it’s so expensive to run,” board member Armine Hacopian told the LA Daily News. “If the students are not there, it’s not financially feasible so we have to cut programs that are in danger.” But what of the 21 students now enrolled in the program? Hacopian said they will be transferred to one of the other two Los Angeles-area schools offering the course — Mount San Antonio College or West Los Angeles Community College. But the move irks followers of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who just last week encouraged an expansion of vocational education in California.

It also irks students like Phil Samuelian. He told the Daily News the Glendale program was the only A&P class offered at night. “It’s unfortunate that vocational education is suffering. It’s unfortunate that motivated students are being turned out. It’s unfortunate that a well-respected program that has a long history in Glendale and has evolved into a fine institution is being dropped,” the 46-year old aircraft owner told the LA paper. “There seems to be a push within academia to shut down vocational education.”

What will replace the aircraft mechanic’s course if it is indeed shut down? Steven White, the college’s vice president, told the Daily News, “The environment for technical training is changing… and I anticipate a shift of resources from things like aviation to programs like digital arts. We’re under continuous budget pressures and in this kind of environment when we have so few students in an expensive program like aviation, we just can’t do it when there are waiting lines for other programs.”