Budget cuts hit PDCCC classes

Published 2:26 pm Wednesday, September 3, 2008

FRANKLIN—When fall semester classes began at Paul D. Camp Community College in August, a 14-year-old program tied to Old Dominion University was no longer available to students.

Budget cuts forced ODU to cut some of its Teletechnet operations, including one on the Franklin college campus.

Teletechnet was a program that allowed students to take bachelor’s- or master’s-level courses from ODU at any of the 23 community college sites throughout the state using satellite, telephone and computer technologies.

The cutback was announced in May, but this is the first semester in 12 years that students were unable to take full advantage of the program.

Teletechnet was established in 1994 with funding from the Virginia General Assembly,

Launched in 1996 on the Franklin campus, Teletechnet provided students with the ability to finish either a bachelor’s or master’s degree without traveling to Norfolk, through classes that were broadcast from ODU’s Norfolk campus to each of the community college sites.

The PDCC students impacted by this change will be able to complete their programs of study, either in the new delivery modes or by traveling to another site or the main campus at ODU. Of the 36 impacted students at PDCCC, 11 students have indicated that they will complete their programs entirely through videostreaming, and 10 students will attend classes at ODU’s Tri-Cities Center. The remaining students plan to combine videostreaming courses with other courses taken on ODU’s main campus or Tri-Cities Center, and a few students who work in Hampton Roads will complete coursework primarily on the main campus.

Ron Woodard, director of transfer services at ODU and a point person working with PDCCC officials on the program, said teletechnet “was an excellent program.”

PDCCC “was one of the smallest sites” in the program, Woodard said, and budget cuts forced the program to look into other modes of delivery.