PALMDALE — Antelope Valley College’s Interior Design program will be discontinued after this year, and the Clothing and Textiles program will end next spring.
However, both programs could re-emerge at the Palmdale Center under Corporate and Community Education. As of Tuesday AV College awarded 11 certificates in Interior Design for 2019, and eight certificates in Clothing and Textiles. There are another 20 students enrolled in Clothing and Textile courses this fall. Their expected completion date is next spring.
Two task forces comprising faculty members and administrators reviewed each program over the past year and ultimately recommended they be discontinued. The college’s governing Board unanimously agreed at Monday’s meeting to discontinue the programs.
AV College offered the programs in the 2018-19 fiscal year but did not accept new students during the review period.
According to Administrative Policy 4021, the criteria for considering program discontinuance includes a statistically significant decline in class enrollment throughout the program over four consecutive semesters; a consistently low enrollment of 50% below maximum seat load capacity over four consecutive semesters; and retention of less than 50% from the beginning term class roster for four terms that do not need to be consecutive semesters. Student success is also a factor.
Enrollment in the interior design program, which lacks a full-time instructor, declined by an estimated 58% over the past six years, dropping from 333 students in 2013-14 to 260 students in 2016-17 to 140 students in 2018-19.
“The decline in enrollment from 2013 to 2016 raised alarm within the program. Outreach efforts targeting local high schools were undertaken and seem to have been effective. However, with faculty no longer available to sustain outreach, program enrollment is expected to decline again,” a memo from the committee to AV College President Ed Knudson said.
The task force noted in its memo to the president that “(i)t would be a terrible loss to cut ID completely from the college.”
“The decline of the program could likely be reversed with an investment of resources,” the memo said. “The resource most needed is a full-time faculty member to reinvigorate the program.”
Anna Frise, Interior Design adjunct faculty, who was also a member of the task force, created a workshop series for Corporate and Community Education, according to the memo.
“The C&CE series will also be an excellent way to keep an eye on the need for and interest in the field,” the memo said.
As of Tuesday AV College awarded 11 certificates in Interior Design for 2019, and eight certificates in Clothing and Textiles. There are another 20 students enrolled in Clothing and Textile courses this fall. Their expected completion date is next spring.
AV College’s Academic, Policies & Procedures Committee met on May 23 and agreed to discontinue both programs.
In regard to the Clothing and Textiles program, the task force noted in its memo to Knudson that the dissolution criteria were not clearly indicated.
While the program was experiencing a slow decline, “retention and success metrics were not troubling at all. Enrollment was stable, by and large, though in a bit of a decline. Nevertheless, it was clear that the program was languishing well before it was precipitately ‘put on hiatus’ in the fall of 2018. This ‘hiatus,’ we all agreed, was not the best path to have taken, but an examination of the program was clearly warranted. The discontinuance process exists for exactly this purpose,” the memo said.
Like the Interior Design program, the Clothing and Textiles program lacked a full-time faculty member.
The task force noted “there is clearly an interest in these courses, even if there is no job market for graduates.”
According to the memo, Social & Behavioral Sciences Dean Irit Gat, and Clothing and Textiles instructor Melissa Ramiro will work with Cathy Hart, the dean of Corporate and Community Education, to create a program of Corporate and Community Education courses for people to take.
“This is possible because we have the equipment and the space, and we cannot do anything else with it until the program has wound down a year from now, so we might as well explore other avenues,” the memo said.