Tue, Nov 02, 2004
Too Many Costs, Not Enough Students
A Pennsylvania technical school's
aviation program, founded more than three decades ago, has been
discontinued for lack of students. Upper Bucks Area Vocational
Technical School in Milford (PA) says the costs are too high and
enrollment is too low to carry on.
"The adult program was not paying for itself," said vo-tech
director Robert Barlett. "The program has lost money for seven of
the last eight years."
The program was initiated in 1970 as an adult education
curriculum. In 1997, Upper Bucks opened the program to high school
students, with the proviso that the adult program pay for the high
school kids as well. But school officials say enrollment has fallen
and with it, revenues necessary to keep the class alive.
"Enrollment has drastically decreased in the last few years,"
said the chairwoman of the vo-tech's joint operating committee,
Peggy Lewis. "We did a study of the last 10 years and it doesn't
seem like we can gain enough students," said Lewis. "We are not
happy with it ending, but it is the best way to go."
While about ten adult students will be left with only part of
their coursework finished by the time the program is discontinued
next September, school officials hope they can get those students
enrolled in private A&P courses.
Still, the local aviation industry is sad to see the program
end. "It's fairly difficult to find aviation technicians and that
school is turning out good technicians," said Jay Sarver, owner of
Sarver Air. It's a maintenance shop at Pennridge Airport in East
Rockhill. He teaches at the school and has given two of its
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