CCE students face problems across campus


Abigail Bekele

JuJu Holton poses for a portrait with their child AmariKEM, in the Continuing College Education lounge in Mary Hobbs on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 20, 2017. CCE students have heard rumors that the program might be ending.//Photo by Abigail Bekele/The Guilfordian

Several current continuing education students have expressed frustration with problems negatively impacting CCE students and rumors that they fear will mean the end of the program.

“We had faculty and staff members … come to us and (tell) us that CCE is going to be forced out,” said Amber Echerd, president of the CCE Student Government Association.

Other CCE students, including Clay Morrow, Angela Morrow, Jeffrey Ray and Darla Lee, have also been made aware of the rumor that the program will be ending in the near future. However, according to Arlene Cash, vice president for enrollment management, this concern is merely a rumor.

“I’m in charge of CCE,” said Cash. “CCE reports directly to me and I have not heard of any plans of the program ending whatsoever.”

Even if the rumor that the program is ending has no merit, CCE students still have complaints about problems that they face and the decreasing number of CCE students on campus. Guilford’s CCE program currently has about 450 students, compared with more than 1,300 students that the program enrolled in 2010.

“I’ve seen a big change… I saw the numbers dwindle,” said Darla Lee, a CCE senior. “When I was a (first-year) if I did not get here before 5:30, I would actually have to park over in Bauman and then walk (because) the CCE parking lot was full.”

Administrators such as Cash are also aware of the small size of the current Guilford CCE population and are working to address it.

“We have a whole team doing (CCE) recruiting,” said Cash. “We go out to local community colleges, and of course we do … online marketing like advertising through Facebook and other kinds of social media.

“We’re looking to see what’s going on … Why aren’t CCE students here? … We’re getting fewer and fewer (students) every year. Why aren’t they applying?”

With the program’s current numbers and the possibility of the CCE SGA and Senate programs being merged in the near future, CCE students are worried about losing their influence on campus.

“There is not going to be a voice for the adults anymore,” said Jeffrey Ray, treasurer of the CCE SGA.

Ray is not the only member of the SGA who is worried about the possible merging of the two organizations. Echerd expressed similar sentiments.

“Our fear is that if they merge the two of us, (since the traditional students) outnumber the CCE students, the CCE students won’t have a voice … We probably won’t even be (able) to hold office anymore,” said Echerd. “Basically you took our voices away … And now you want us to leave our space that was for us.”

In 2015, the CCE lounge that was previously in Hendricks Hall was moved to the basement of Mary Hobbs Hall.

“They shoved us down into Mary Hobbs,” said Lee. “It’s been downhill ever since then.”

Lee and other CCE students report drainage problems in Mary Hobbs, along with many traditional students using the space over the past few semesters.

“We were told (the lounge was) only for CCE students,” said Echerd. “We’ve been overtaken by traditional students … Now our CCE students don’t even want to come into their own space anymore.”

While Echerd sees traditional students using the adult student lounge as a problem, Cash thinks that all students should be able to use the spaces that they want.

“Well I don’t know if it’s a problem,” said Cash. “Is there a space at Guilford College where everyone’s not allowed? … Even that space in Hendricks wasn’t exclusively CCE.”

Besides the relocation of the lounge, CCE students are worried about the possibility of future tuition increase and the decrease in CCE staff throughout the past year.

Cash was able to justify the decrease in staff.

“We are staffed right now to the number of students we have,” said Cash. “When that number starts to grow, and that is my hope, my expectation (is that) we staff back up again.”

Cash has hopes for the future of the CCE program and for better communication between the CCE students and Guilford’s administration.

“I would love to have an opportunity to talk to them about how can we better support them, how can we better integrate them so that they feel more like a part of the whole Guilford College community and how can we work together to bring in more students,” said Cash. “I look forward to working with … students who are CCE … in making CCE continue to be a viable and exciting program here at Guilford College.”